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Visualizing the Demand for Battery Raw Materials



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
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

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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Will Direct Lithium Extraction Disrupt the $90B Lithium Market?

Visual Capitalist and EnergyX explore how direct lithium extraction could disrupt the $90B lithium industry.



Will Direct Lithium Extraction Disrupt the $90B Lithium Market?

Current lithium extraction and refinement methods are outdated, often harmful to the environment, and ultimately inefficient. So much so that by 2030, lithium demand will outstrip supply by a projected 1.42 million metric tons. But there is a solution: Direct lithium extraction (DLE).

For this graphic, we partnered with EnergyX to try to understand how DLE could help meet global lithium demands and change an industry that is critical to the clean energy transition.

The Lithium Problem

Lithium is crucial to many renewable energy technologies because it is this element that allows EV batteries to react. In fact, it’s so important that projections show the lithium industry growing from $22.2B in 2023 to nearly $90B by 2030.

But even with this incredible growth, as you can see from the table, refined lithium production will need to increase 86.5% over and above current projections.

2022 (million metric tons)2030P (million metric tons)
Lithium Carbonate Demand0.461.21
Lithium Hydroxide Demand0.181.54
Lithium Metal Demand00.22
Lithium Mineral Demand0.070.09
Total Demand0.713.06
Total Supply0.751.64

The Solution: Direct Lithium Extraction

DLE is a process that uses a combination of solvent extraction, membranes, or adsorbents to extract and then refine lithium directly from its source. LiTASTM, the proprietary DLE technology developed by EnergyX, can recover an incredible 300% more lithium per ton than existing processes, making it the perfect tool to help meet lithium demands.

Additionally, LiTASTM can refine lithium at the lowest cost per unit volume directly from brine, an essential step in meeting tomorrow’s lithium demand and manufacturing next-generation batteries, while significantly reducing the footprint left by lithium mining.

Hard Rock MiningUnderground ReservoirsDirect Lithium Extraction
Direct CO2 Emissions15,000 kg5,000 kg3.5 kg
Water Use170 m3469 m334-94 m3
Lithium Recovery Rate58%30-40%90%
Land Use464 m23124 m20.14 m2
Process TimeVariable18 months1-2 days

Providing the World with Lithium

DLE promises to disrupt the outdated lithium industry by improving lithium recovery rates and slashing emissions, helping the world meet the energy demands of tomorrow’s electric vehicles.

EnergyX is on a mission to become a worldwide leader in the sustainable energy transition using groundbreaking direct lithium extraction technology. Don’t miss your chance to join companies like GM and invest in EnergyX to transform the future of renewable energy.

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Chart: The $400 Billion Lithium Battery Value Chain

In this graphic, we break down where the $400 billion lithium battery industry will generate revenue in 2030.




Breaking Down the $400 Billion Battery Value Chain

As the world transitions away from fossil fuels toward a greener future, the lithium battery industry could grow fivefold by 2030. This shift could create over $400 billion in annual revenue opportunities globally.

For this graphic, we partnered with EnergyX to determine how the battery industry could grow by 2030.

Exploring the Battery Value Chain

The lithium battery value chain has many links within it that each generate their own revenue opportunities, these include:

  • Critical Element Production: Involves the mining and refining of materials used in a battery’s construction.
  • Active materials: Creating and developing materials that react electrochemically to allow batteries to charge and discharge.
  • Battery cells: Involves the production of rechargeable elements of a battery.
  • Battery packs: Producing packs containing a series of connected battery cells. Generally, these come in two types: NMC/NMCA, the standard in North America and Europe, and LFP, the standard in China.
  • Recycling: Reusing battery components within new batteries.

But these links aren’t equal, each one is projected to generate different levels of revenue by 2030:

China 🇨🇳Europe 🇪🇺United States 🇺🇸Rest of World 🌍
Critical Element Production$37B$25B$15B$8B
Active Materials$54B$31B$14B$11B
Battery Packs$34B$22B$11B$7B
Battery Cells$53B$37B$20B$11B

On the surface, battery cell production may contribute the most revenue to the battery value chain. However, lithium production can generate margins as high as 65%, meaning lithium production has potential to yield large margins.

How Much Lithium Is Available?

Just a few countries hold 81% of the world’s viable lithium. So, supply bottlenecks could slow the growth of the lithium battery industry:

NationViable Lithium Reserves (2023)
Chile 🇨🇱9.3M t
Australia 🇦🇺6.2M t
Argentina 🇦🇷2.7M t
China 🇨🇳2M t
U.S. 🇺🇸1M t
Rest of World 🌍4.9M t

Supplying the World With Batteries

Supplying the world with lithium is critical to the battery value chain and a successful transition from fossil fuels. Players like the U.S. and the EU, with increasingly large and growing lithium needs, will need to maximize local opportunities and work together to meet demand.

EnergyX is on a mission to become a world leader in the global transition to sustainable energy, using cutting-edge direct lithium extraction to help supply the world with lithium.

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