LG Energy Solution agreed to buy 20,000 metric tons of battery-grade nickel from Li-Cycle over 10 years starting in 2023 as part of a deal that includes a $50 million investment in the Canadian firm, the companies said Tuesday in a statement. LG Energy Solution, the world’s No. 2 EV battery producer, will also sell nickel-bearing lithium-ion battery scrap and other materials to Li-Cycle under the pact.
Consumers also see a chance to help tame soaring commodity prices that threaten to deliver the first rise in battery costs since at least 2010.
Nickel is a key component for the cathodes of EV batteries. The metal can help pack more energy into cells, and allows producers to reduce use of cobalt, which is more expensive and typically has a less transparent supply chain. The market for battery-grade nickel could slip into a 128,000-ton deficit as early as 2024, according to Bloomberg