Manganese ore

Critical Materials Demand for U.S. Electric Vehicles to 2050: Special Application of the National Energy Modeling System

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Ongoing and accelerated decarbonization actions in the United States and abroad will continue to drive an energy transition with appreciable changes to the electric power, transportation, manufacturing, and other sectors for decades. A key element of energy and economic transformation will be a significant increase in the demand for, and use of, critical materials (CMs). To assess this transition and its importance to the U.S. energy system, we have developed a novel application of the National Energy Modeling System (CM-NEMS) and conducted an initial projection of critical materials demand for U.S. electric vehicles (EVs) to 2050. While approximately 66 critical minerals are being tracked at the federal level,1 this paper focuses on lithium (Li), nickel (Ni), cobalt (Co), and manganese (Mn) which are prevalent in electric vehicles. We also provide qualitative assessments of environmental, supply chain, and energy security issues related to critical materials for the U.S.

Webinar Recording and Presentation

We hosted a webinar on Wednesday, September 20th to discuss the white paper and our Critical Materials Research and Analysis Initiative. View the webinar recording here. You can also download our presentation.

About the Authors:

Francisco de la Chesnaye, VP, Climate and Energy Strategy, OnLocation
Dr. de la Chesnaye is responsible for executive leadership, energy strategy, and business development at OnLocation. He has more than 25 years of experience implementing initiatives in the private sector, non-profit organizations, and national governments related to climate change, energy systems, and environmental sustainability.

Less Goudarzi, Strategic Advisor, OnLocation
For the last 40+ years, Mr. Goudarzi has helped public and private sector clients create the quantitative tools required to address structural and regulatory challenges in the energy industry. His current focus is on the technological challenges associated with sustainable systems and how IoT, 5G (terrestrial/satellite-based internet), and AI will change the way economies work and their potential to transform how cities and governments approach and plan for energy futures.

Hao Deng, Senior Consultant, Energy System, OnLocation
Dr. Deng has extensive experience in economic analysis at the intersection of energy, environment, and public health. His experience spans an array of empirical economic methodologies: He has built a dynamic structural demand model for the residential solar PV market; investigated the role of financing in the market development in California; and evaluated the effects of urbanization on air pollution in the U.S. since 1970 using results from an integrated assessment model.

Samaneh Babaee, Senior Consultant Transportation, OnLocation
Dr. Babaee has over 12 years of research and expertise in techno-economic, environmental, and policy analysis of energy systems and clean energy technology assessment. The primary focus of her work has been on the application of energy-economic optimization models to assess a range of critical issues, including energy consumption and fuel prices, technology innovation, air pollution and greenhouse gasses (GHGs), energy policies, and climate mitigation goals.

Banafsheh Jabarivelisdeh, Senior Consultant, Materials, OnLocation
Dr. Jabarivelisdeh has over 10 years of research and expertise in energy systems modeling, analysis, and optimization. She has experience developing unit process system models for energy and emissions analysis of primary chemicals production, as well as implementing bottom-up models with high technical and economic resolution to conduct decarbonization scenarios of a net-zero future for the U.S. chemical industry.

Christina Ross, Senior Environmental Scientist, KeyLogic
Christina Ross has 23 years’ experience in environmental consulting, clean technology development, and cross-sector climate change research. Her subject matter expertise in the nexus of energy and environmental impacts supports development of environmental decision-making frameworks for public and private sector clients. Her research focuses on tools and data to optimize domestic critical material supply chain development while preserving environmental resources.

Scott Matthews, Principal Scientist, KeyLogic

Andrew Simler, Program Analyst, OnLocation
Mr. Simler has a BA in Physics from Reed College and is experienced in the use of computer programming to support scientific investigations. He supports research and modeling for projects including climate impacts and is actively supporting OnLocation’s development of the Critical Material Conversion Module.

Jasmine Greene, Director, OnLocation
Dr. Greene is responsible for budgeting, planning, operations, systems, and administration at OnLocation. She is a skilled administrator with experience in the public, non-profit, and private sectors.
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