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Adamas: deployment of nickel-rich cathode chemistries drives battery nickel demand higher in May

In May 2019, 57% more nickel metal equivalent (NME) was deployed globally in batteries of new passenger EVs than the same month the year prior, according to Adamas Intelligence’s latest “EV Battery Nickel Monthly” report.

Over the same period, the amount of NME used in li-ion batteries (primarily in the form of nickel sulfate) increased 69% whereas the amount of NME used in NiMH batteries (primarily in the form of nickel hydroxide and AB5 nickel-REE alloy) increased 26%.

Use of nickel by the EV battery industry (as well as other materials, such as LCE, cobalt and graphite) is—generally speaking—a function of the total amount of battery capacity deployed (in watt-hours) and the types of cathode, anode and electrolyte chemistries used.

In May 2019, total passenger EV battery capacity deployed globally was 48% higher than the total deployed in May 2018; the fact that the amount of NME deployed increased 57% over the same period is a testament to the EV industry’s ongoing adoption of higher-nickel cathode chemistries, such as NCM 622 and NCM 811 (earlier post), that use a greater amount of nickel per watt-hour.

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