The global electric vehicle market has entered the fast lane, especially in China. China Association of Automobile Manufacturers predicts that China's electric vehicle sales will reach a record of 1.6 million units this year, up from 1.2 million units in 2018, accounting for about half of global sales.
Bloomberg also reported that there are currently 486 electric vehicle manufacturers registered in China, which is more than three times the previous year. Lithium has also benefited from the rapid development of electric vehicles.
According to research firm Adamas Intelligence, as of February this year, lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) usage increased by 76% in batteries for new electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicles worldwide. The agency said that the surge in lithium usage is due to Chinese automakers moving from lithium iron phosphate batteries (LFP) to nickel-cobalt-manganese ternary batteries (NCM).
At the same time, all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are also fiercely capturing the market with traditional hybrid vehicles, which means that lithium-ion batteries will be more widely used today than nickel-hydrogen batteries without lithium.
Bloomberg NEF also said that the development of the global electric vehicle industry will greatly boost the demand for battery materials. Lithium batteries will increase demand for lithium by a factor of six between 2020 and 2030.
Other studies have shown that by 2025, nickel-cobalt-manganese ternary battery (NCM) will become the fastest growing battery combination. These batteries provide better energy density and also reduce the amount or weight of the battery. As of February this year, the top five battery suppliers using lithium carbonate equivalents worldwide are Panasonic, LG Chem, CATL, BYD and Samsung SDI. These five suppliers account for nearly 75% of the global lithium consumption of electric vehicles.