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Visualizing the Demand for Battery Raw Materials

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The following content is sponsored by Wood Mackenzie

Visualizing the Demand for Battery Raw Materials

Metals play a pivotal role in the energy transition, as EVs and energy storage systems rely on batteries, which, in turn, require metals.

This graphic, sponsored by Wood Mackenzie, forecasts raw material demand from batteries. It presents a base case scenario that incorporates the evolution of current policies, indicating a global temperature rise of 2.5°C by 2100. Additionally, it explores an accelerated (AET) scenario, where the world aims to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C by the end of this century.

Growing Demand for Metals in an Accelerated Scenario

Lithium is a crucial material in high-energy-density rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

The lithium fueling electric vehicle batteries undergoes refinement from compounds sourced in salt-brine pools or hard rock and quantities are measured in terms of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE).

According to Wood Mackenzie, by 2030, the demand for LCE is expected to be 55% higher in an AET scenario compared to the base case, and 59% higher by 2050.

Base CaseUnit202320302050
Battery demand (Li-ion and Na-ion)GWh1,1523,5778,395
Cathode active material (Li-ion and Na-ion)kt2,1326,37613,995
Lithiumkt LCE8782,3905,275
Nickelkt5961,2992,151
Cobaltkt147187228
Manganesekt2076871,491
Graphitekt1,1193,0343,748
AETUnit202320302050
Battery demand (Li-ion and Na-ion)GWh1,2505,85612,819
Cathode active material (Li-ion and Na-ion)kt2,32610,86521,149
Lithiumkt LCE9543,7018,384
Nickelkt6061,6482,629
Cobaltkt145207265
Manganesekt2251,1242,163
Graphitekt1,2205,0185,461

The demand for two other essential metals in battery production, cobalt and nickel, is expected to be 16% and 22% higher, respectively, in 2050 in the AET scenario compared to the base case.

Given that graphite is the primary anode material for an EV battery, it also represents the largest component by weight in the average EV. The demand for graphite in an AET scenario is anticipated to be 46% higher than in a base case scenario.

Battery Materials Supply Chain

According to Wood Mackenzie data, an accelerated energy transition would require much more capital within a short timeframe for developing the battery raw materials supply chain – from mines through to refineries and cell production facilities.

Increased participation from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) will be necessary, risking EV sales penetration rates remaining below 15% in the medium term, in contrast to approximately 40% in the total market under an AET scenario.

In addition, finding alternative sources of metals, including using secondary supply through recycling, is another option available to the industry.

However, as noted in Wood Mackenzie’s research, current EV sales are too low to generate a sufficiently large scrap pool to create any meaningful new source of supply by 2030.

Access insights on the entire battery industry supply chain with Electric Vehicle & Battery Supply Chain Service by Wood Mackenzie.

 

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Electrification

Charted: 4 Reasons Why Lithium Could Be the Next Gold Rush

Visual Capitalist has partnered with EnergyX to show why drops in prices and growing demand may make now the right time to invest in lithium.

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The teaser image shows a bubble chart showing that the price of a Tesla is similar to that of other major auto manufacturers.

4 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Lithium

Lithium’s importance in powering EVs makes it a linchpin of the clean energy transition and one of the world’s most precious minerals.

In this graphic, Visual Capitalist partnered with EnergyX to explore why now may be the time to invest in lithium.

1. Lithium Prices Have Dropped

One of the most critical aspects of evaluating an investment is ensuring that the asset’s value is higher than its price would indicate. Lithium is integral to powering EVs, and, prices have fallen fast over the last year:

DateLiOH·H₂O*Li₂CO₃**
Feb 2023$76$71
March 2023$71$61
Apr 2023$43$33
May 2023$43$33
June 2023$47$45
July 2023$44$40
Aug 2023$35$35
Sept 2023$28$27
Oct 2023$24$23
Nov 2023$21$21
Dec 2023$17$16
Jan 2024$14$15
Feb 2024$13$14

Note: Monthly spot prices were taken as close to the 14th of each month as possible.
*Lithium hydroxide monohydrate (MB-LI-0033)
**Lithium carbonate (MB-LI-0029)

2. Lithium-Ion Battery Prices Are Also Falling

The drop in lithium prices is just one reason to invest in the metal. Increasing economies of scale, coupled with low commodity prices, have caused the cost of lithium-ion batteries to drop significantly as well.

In fact, BNEF reports that between 2013 and 2023, the price of a Li-ion battery dropped by 82%.

YearPrice per KWh
2023$139
2022$161
2021$150
2020$160
2019$183
2018$211
2017$258
2016$345
2015$448
2014$692
2013$780

3. EV Adoption is Sustainable

One of the best reasons to invest in lithium is that EVs, one of the main drivers behind the demand for lithium, have reached a price point similar to that of traditional vehicle.

According to the Kelly Blue Book, Tesla’s average transaction price dropped by 25% between 2022 and 2023, bringing it in line with many other major manufacturers and showing that EVs are a realistic transport option from a consumer price perspective.

ManufacturerSeptember 2022September 2023
BMW$69,000$72,000
Ford$54,000$56,000
Volkswagon$54,000$56,000
General Motors$52,000$53,000
Tesla$68,000$51,000

4. Electricity Demand in Transport is Growing

As EVs become an accessible transport option, there’s an investment opportunity in lithium. But possibly the best reason to invest in lithium is that the IEA reports global demand for the electricity in transport could grow dramatically by 2030:

Transport Type202220252030
Buses 🚌23,000 GWh50,000 GWh130,000 GWh
Cars 🚙65,000 GWh200,000 GWh570,000 GWh
Trucks 🛻4,000 GWh15,000 GWh94,000 GWh
Vans 🚐6,000 GWh16,000 GWh72,000 GWh

The Lithium Investment Opportunity

Lithium presents a potentially classic investment opportunity. Lithium and battery prices have dropped significantly, and recently, EVs have reached a price point similar to other vehicles. By 2030, the demand for clean energy, especially in transport, will grow dramatically.

With prices dropping and demand skyrocketing, now is the time to invest in lithium.

EnergyX is poised to exploit lithium demand with cutting-edge lithium extraction technology capable of extracting 300% more lithium than current processes.

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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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