Best-Performing Battery Metal of the Past Year Isn’t Cobalt

Date: Jan 26, 2018

  • Vanadium is rocketing during a buying spree in China
  • Grid-scale batteries for renewables could drive further gains

A metal that’s in demand for batteries is surging, and it’s not the one everyone’s talking about.

 Vanadium has soared more than 130 percent in the past year, outperforming better-known battery components like cobalt, lithium and nickel. It’s an obscure metal, silvery-blue in color and named for Vanadis, the Nordic goddess of beauty.
What’s driving prices is tightening supply and strong orders from the steel industry, which accounts for 90 percent of demand today.
But in the future, analysts are expecting a shift in uses of vanadium. The metal can also be used in industrial-scale batteries, which help to even out daily peaks and troughs from renewables like wind energy. The move to green energy could create a new market and start a scramble for supply, according to BMO Capital Markets.