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On average, an electric passenger car needs around 20kg of nickel in its battery (a Tesla Model 3 needs 30kg), up to 20kg of cobalt in the cathode plus roughly 60kg of lithium compounds. Of the metals used, nickel is crucial as it helps batteries store more energy and cuts down on the need for the more expensive cobalt. Tesla accounted for more than half of all the nickel used in the European electric car industry last year and Musk has singled out its supply as a concern. It plans to produce batteries storing 3 terawatt-hours by 2030, which would exhaust most of the world’s nickel production at current levels, says Jefferies, the US investment bank. Boosting production is difficult. Less than half of the nickel supplied is suitable for use in batteries. New nickel deposits are rare discoveries. A shortage cannot be ruled out.