Abstract for: Modeling the Feedback of Battery Raw Material Shortages on the Diffusion of Alternative Automotive Drives

Increasing energy prices due to limited availability of fossil fuels in combination with ambitious reduction targets of combustion gas emissions, particularly in urban areas, will force the diffusion of alternative drives such as hybrid and battery electric vehicles in the automotive market in near and midterm future. However, the increasing need of rechargeable batteries with high energy densities strongly affects the demand for specific battery raw materials like lithium and cobalt. In this paper, we present a system dynamics approach which combines a fleet model of the global automotive market with a material flow model of cobalt as a key battery raw material. This combined model enables the simulation of effects of increased battery demand on the cobalt market and the potential feedback of raw material shortages on the development of battery technology and the diffusion of alternative drives which once again affects the demand for cobalt. This modeling approach may serve as a tool for getting a better understanding of future raw material markets influenced by emerging technologies and the feedback of raw material availability on the technological development.