The Dutch wish to have around two million electric cars on the road by 2030 is unrealistic, writes newspaper Trouw on the basis of research by agencies Metabolic, Copper8 and Leiden University. Due to the worldwide growing demand for electric cars, insufficient critical metals are available for such a large-scale switch in the Netherlands.
It concerns six metals: nickel, cobalt, lithium and three other rare metals, with the names praseodymium, neodymium and dysprosium. These raw materials are needed for the production of batteries and engines of electric cars, but also for solar panels and wind turbines, for example.
As the production of and demand for these installations is increasing worldwide, there will not be enough metals left for the Netherlands to complete the transition.
Currently, the fleet of 171,000 electric cars in the Netherlands uses around 0.1 percent of the annual world production of rare metals. This will grow to 2 to 4 percent if the Netherlands goes by 2030 to the wish of 1.9 million electric cars. And there are simply not enough metals for that, the research says.
The researchers say it is better to limit the growth of electric cars to a maximum of one million in the Netherlands in 2030. "The transition to electric transport is important. We just have to be aware that this policy is not without consequences", says Benjamin Sprecher, researcher at the Center for Environmental Sciences Leiden.