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Musk, Tesla Have Secret Deal That Rivals Can't Compete With

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Its dominance has been reinforced by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has disrupted the supply chains of most companies and, in this case, car manufacturers.  

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The situation was worsened by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting Western sanctions. 

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This armed conflict has led to soaring prices for raw materials such as nickel, palladium and aluminum. 

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The three elements help make catalytic converters, air conditioner condensers and other essential car parts. 

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Nickel is used to make stainless steel and the batteries, which are the heart of an EV because they determine a car's range and play a key role in the performance and the security of the vehicle as well.

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Russia is a major exporter of nickel. Automakers might be able to obtain nickel from Indonesia, but its nickel is more difficult to use for electric car batteries, industry sources say. 

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