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The Massive Impact of EVs on Commodities in One Chart

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The Massive Impact of EVs on Commodities in One Chart

The Massive Impact of EVs on Commodities

How demand would change in a 100% EV world

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

What would happen if you flipped a switch, and suddenly every new car that came off assembly lines was electric?

It’s obviously a thought experiment, since right now EVs have close to just 1% market share worldwide. We’re still years away from EVs even hitting double-digit demand on a global basis, and the entire supply chain is built around the internal combustion engine, anyways.

At the same time, however, the scenario is interesting to consider. One recent projection, for example, put EVs at a 16% penetration by 2030 and then 51% by 2040. This could be conservative depending on the changing regulatory environment for manufacturers – after all, big markets like China, France, and the U.K. have recently announced that they plan on banning gas-powered vehicles in the near future.

The Thought Experiment

We discovered this “100% EV world” thought experiment in a UBS report that everyone should read. As a part of their UBS Evidence Lab initiative, they tore down a Chevy Bolt to see exactly what is inside, and then had 39 of the bank’s analysts weigh in on the results.

After breaking down the metals and other materials used in the vehicle, they noticed a considerable amount of variance from what gets used in a standard gas-powered car. It wasn’t just the battery pack that made a difference – it was also the body and the permanent-magnet synchronous motor that had big implications.

As a part of their analysis, they extrapolated the data for a potential scenario where 100% of the world’s auto demand came from Chevy Bolts, instead of the current auto mix.

The Implications

If global demand suddenly flipped in this fashion, here’s what would happen:

MaterialDemand increaseNotes
Lithium2,898%Needed in all lithium-ion batteries
Cobalt1,928%Used in the Bolt's NMC cathode
Rare Earths655%Bolt uses neodymium in permanent magnet motor
Graphite524%Used in the anode of lithium-ion batteries
Nickel105%Used in the Bolt's NMC cathode
Copper22%Used in permanent magnet motor and wiring
Manganese14%Used in the Bolt's NMC cathode
Aluminum13%Used to reduce weight of vehicle
Silicon0%Bolt uses 6-10x more semiconductors
Steel-1%Uses 7% less steel, but fairly minimal impact on market
PGMs-53%Catalytic converters not needed in EVs

Some caveats we think are worth noting:

The Bolt is not a Tesla
The Bolt uses an NMC cathode formulation (nickel, manganese, and cobalt in a 1:1:1 ratio), versus Tesla vehicles which use NCA cathodes (nickel, cobalt, and aluminum, in an estimated 16:3:1 ratio). Further, the Bolt uses an permanent-magnet synchronous motor, which is different from Tesla’s AC induction motor – the key difference there being rare earth usage.

Big Markets, small markets:
Lithium, cobalt, and graphite have tiny markets, and they will explode in size with any notable increase in EV demand. The nickel market, which is more than $20 billion per year, will also more than double in this scenario. It’s also worth noting that the Bolt uses low amounts of nickel in comparison to Tesla cathodes, which are 80% nickel.

Meanwhile, the 100% EV scenario barely impacts the steel market, which is monstrous to begin with. The same can be said for silicon, even though the Bolt uses 6-10x more semiconductors than a regular car. The market for PGMs like platinum and palladium, however, gets decimated in this hypothetical scenario – that’s because their use as catalysts in combustion engines are a primary source of demand.

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Electrification

Ranked: The Top 10 EV Battery Manufacturers in 2023

Asia dominates this ranking of the world’s largest EV battery manufacturers in 2023.

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A treemap showing the top 10 EV battery manufacturers in 2023

The Top 10 EV Battery Manufacturers in 2023

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Despite efforts from the U.S. and EU to secure local domestic supply, all major EV battery manufacturers remain based in Asia.

In this graphic we rank the top 10 EV battery manufacturers by total battery deployment (measured in megawatt-hours) in 2023. The data is from EV Volumes.

Chinese Dominance

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) has swiftly risen in less than a decade to claim the title of the largest global battery group.

The Chinese company now has a 34% share of the market and supplies batteries to a range of made-in-China vehicles, including the Tesla Model Y, SAIC’s MG4/Mulan, and Li Auto models.

CompanyCountry2023 Production
(megawatt-hour)
Share of Total
Production
CATL🇨🇳China242,70034%
BYD🇨🇳China115,91716%
LG Energy Solution🇰🇷Korea108,48715%
Panasonic🇯🇵Japan56,5608%
SK On🇰🇷Korea40,7116%
Samsung SDI🇰🇷Korea35,7035%
CALB🇨🇳China23,4933%
Farasis Energy🇨🇳China16,5272%
Envision AESC🇨🇳China8,3421%
Sunwoda🇨🇳China6,9791%
Other-56,0408%

In 2023, BYD surpassed LG Energy Solution to claim second place. This was driven by demand from its own models and growth in third-party deals, including providing batteries for the made-in-Germany Tesla Model Y, Toyota bZ3, Changan UNI-V, Venucia V-Online, as well as several Haval and FAW models.

The top three battery makers (CATL, BYD, LG) collectively account for two-thirds (66%) of total battery deployment.

Once a leader in the EV battery business, Panasonic now holds the fourth position with an 8% market share, down from 9% last year. With its main client, Tesla, now effectively sourcing batteries from multiple suppliers, the Japanese battery maker seems to be losing its competitive edge in the industry.

Overall, the global EV battery market size is projected to grow from $49 billion in 2022 to $98 billion by 2029, according to Fortune Business Insights.

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Electrification

White Gold: Mapping U.S. Lithium Mines

In this graphic, Visual Capitalist partnerered with EnergyX to explore the size and location of U.S. lithium mines.

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Teaser graphic of a map that shows the sizes of the top U.S. lithium mines.

White Gold: Mapping U.S. Lithium Mines

The U.S. doubled imports of lithium-ion batteries for the third consecutive year in 2022, and with EV demand growing yearly, U.S. lithium mines must ramp up production or rely on other nations for their supply of refined lithium.

To determine if the domestic U.S. lithium opportunity can meet demand, we partnered with EnergyX to determine how much lithium sits within U.S. borders.

U.S. Lithium Projects

The most crucial measure of a lithium mine’s potential is the quantity that can be extracted from the source.

For each lithium resource, the potential volume of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) was calculated with a ratio of one metric ton of lithium producing 5.32 metric tons of LCE. Cumulatively, existing U.S. lithium projects contain 94.8 million metric tons of LCE.

RankProject NameLCE, million metric tons (est.)
1McDermitt Caldera21.5
2Thacker Pass19.1
3Tonopah Flats18.0
4TLC Lithium10.7
5Clayton Valley (Century Lithium)6.3
6Zeus Lithium6.3
7Rhyolite Ridge3.4
8Arkansas Smackover (Phase 1A)2.8
9Basin Project2.2
10McGee Deposit2.1
11Arkansas Smackover (South West)1.8
12Clayton Valley (Lithium-X, Pure Energy)0.8
13Big Sandy0.3
14Imperial Valley/Salton Sea0.3

U.S. Lithium Opportunities, By State

U.S. lithium projects mainly exist in western states, with comparatively minor opportunities in central or eastern states.

StateLCE, million metric tons (est.)
Nevada88.2
Arkansas4.6
Arizona2.5
California0.3

Currently, the U.S. is sitting on a wealth of lithium that it is underutilizing. For context, in 2022, the U.S. only produced about 5,000 metric tons of LCE and imported a projected 19,000 metric tons of LCE, showing that the demand for the mineral is healthy.

The Next Gold Rush?

U.S. lithium companies have the opportunity to become global leaders in lithium production and accelerate the transition to sustainable energy sources. This is particularly important as the demand for lithium is increasing every year.

EnergyX is on a mission to meet U.S. lithium demands using groundbreaking technology that can extract 300% more lithium from a source than traditional methods.

You can take advantage of this opportunity by investing in EnergyX and joining other significant players like GM in becoming a shareholder.

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