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Resources 2018, 7(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources7010009

Implications of Emerging Vehicle Technologies on Rare Earth Supply and Demand in the United States

1
Center for Industrial Ecology, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, 195 Prospect St., New Haven, CT 06511, USA
2
School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh, King’s Buildings, Sanderson Building, Edinburgh EH9 3FB, UK
3
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 21 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Mining for Resource Supply)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1208 KB, uploaded 25 January 2018]   |  

Abstract

We explore the long-term demand and supply potentials of rare earth elements in alternative energy vehicles (AEVs) in the United States until 2050. Using a stock-flow model, we compare a baseline scenario with scenarios that incorporate an exemplary technological innovation: a novel aluminum–cerium–magnesium alloy. We find that the introduction of the novel alloy demonstrates that even low penetration rates can exceed domestic cerium production capacity, illustrating possible consequences of technological innovations to material supply and demand. End-of-life vehicles can, however, overtake domestic mining as a source of materials, calling for proper technologies and policies to utilize this emerging source. The long-term importing of critical materials in manufactured and semi-manufactured products shifts the location of material stocks and hence future secondary supply of high-value materials, culminating in a double benefit to the importing country. This modeling approach is adaptable to the study of varied scenarios and materials, linking technologies with supply and demand dynamics in order to understand their potential economic and environmental consequences. View Full-Text
Keywords: rare earth elements; critical materials; material flow analysis; electric and hybrid vehicles; secondary material supply rare earth elements; critical materials; material flow analysis; electric and hybrid vehicles; secondary material supply
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Fishman, T.; Myers, R.J.; Rios, O.; Graedel, T. Implications of Emerging Vehicle Technologies on Rare Earth Supply and Demand in the United States. Resources 2018, 7, 9.

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