Battery Metals: Powering the Future of Electric Vehicles

Uncovering the Essential Role of Metals in EV Battery Technology

Introduction to Battery Metals

Battery metals refer to a group of metals used in the manufacture of batteries, particularly those used in electric vehicles (EVs). As the world transitions towards cleaner and more sustainable energy sources, the demand for EVs is rapidly increasing. Consequently, this has led to a surge in the need for battery metals.

Key battery metals include lithium, gold, silver, cobalt, manganese, aluminum, nickel, and copper. These metals contribute to creating a strong, durable, and efficient battery, which is crucial for the smooth operation of an EV​.

Why are Battery Metals Needed?

Battery metals are the lifeblood of electric vehicles (EVs) and many other modern technologies. They enable the storage and release of electrical energy, contributing to the performance, efficiency, and longevity of EV batteries.

Active Metals: Metals such as lithium and manganese are considered 'active' metals in the context of EV batteries due to their high electrochemical potential. This characteristic allows them to store and release large amounts of energy, making them ideal for battery use.

Inactive Metals: Metals like copper and aluminum, on the other hand, are known as 'inactive' metals. These metals are chosen for their excellent conductivity and non-reactivity with the electrolyte in the battery, enhancing the battery's overall performance.

Other Metals: Metals such as cobalt, gold, silver, and nickel have unique properties that enhance battery performance. For example, cobalt increases the battery's range and efficiency​, while gold's conductivity ensures efficient electricity flow throughout the battery​. Silver's resistance to tarnishing and excellent conductivity make it ideal for batteries​​, and nickel, being strong, durable, and heat-resistant, safely stores large amounts of energy

Battery Metals in Detail

Each battery metal has unique properties and roles in the structure and function of electric vehicle batteries. From lithium's high energy storage capabilities to copper's conductive and corrosion-resistant characteristics, learn about the specific benefits each metal brings to the table in this comprehensive exploration of battery metals.


As the lightest metal with the greatest electrochemical potential, lithium can store more energy than other metals. This property makes it ideal for batteries and is commonly used in lithium-ion batteries found in EVs and consumer electronics​.


Although expensive, cobalt has a high electrochemical potential and is heat and corrosion-resistant. This property makes it ideal for use in EV batteries, often used in conjunction with nickel​.


Nickel is less expensive than lithium and is a strong, durable metal that can withstand high temperatures, making it ideal for use in EV batteries.


A lightweight and very conductive metal, aluminum safely stores large amounts of energy and helps reduce the vehicle’s overall weight. It is also environmentally friendly, as it can be recycled and reused


A very conductive metal that is also corrosion-resistant, copper safely stores large amounts of energy, increases battery life, and improves battery efficiency​

Key Metals in Electric Vehicle Batteries and Canadian Mining

Electric vehicles (EVs) require a variety of metals for their batteries, including lithium, manganese, copper, aluminum, cobalt, gold, silver, and nickel. These metals contribute to energy storage, conductivity, and durability of the batteries​​.

As the EV sector grows, there is a need for a secure supply chain for these crucial metals. Canada plays a significant role in this, as it currently mines 13 of the 35 minerals needed to produce EV batteries. Canadian mining efforts are key to supporting the expanding EV industry and its battery production needs.