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The electric vehicle revolution: critical material supply chains, trade and development

Jones, Benjamin, Nguyen-Tien, Viet and Elliott, Robert J.R. (2023) The electric vehicle revolution: critical material supply chains, trade and development. World Economy, 46 (1). 2 - 26. ISSN 0378-5920

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Identification Number: 10.1111/twec.13345


The emergence of a mass market for electric vehicles (EVs) offers development opportunities for countries that have abundant resources of cobalt, nickel, lithium, copper, aluminium and manganese. Not surprisingly, developing countries have proposed ambitious plans to expand production of these raw materials. However, an observation from the resource curse literature is that strong institutions are required if they are to mitigate the risk of poorly directed, often excessively procyclical, investment, not least because of the complexity, opacity and price volatility of many raw materials utilised by global EV value chains. This paper examines the outlook for EV demand and associated raw material usage paying attention to the drivers and sensitivities required to assess and track future market transformations. These end use shifts are then placed in the context of the broader supply chain adjustments and trends shaping the demand. For resource exporters, adapting to structural change will require fiscal, regulatory, environmental and institution reforms designed to capture shifting patterns of resource wealth in a way which takes appropriate account of comparative advantages in specific value chains and mitigates adverse environmental and social consequences from their extraction and processing.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
JEL classification: Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q50 - General
L - Industrial Organization > L1 - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance > L10 - General
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2022 12:09
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2024 23:00

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