From 2018 H1 through 2019 H1, the growing popularity of long-range BEVs with high-capacity batteries resulted in a 52% increase in the amount of lithium carbonate and lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) deployed globally per EV, from 7.7 kg to 11.7 kg, according to a new biannual report from Adamas Intelligence, titled State of Charge: EVs, Batteries and Battery Materials.
The report also finds that Iin 2019 H1, 27,350 tonnes of battery-grade nickel were deployed globally in batteries of all newly-sold passenger EVs combined, an increase of 78% over the amount deployed in 2018 H1. Over the same period, nickel deployment in BEVs increased 119% year-over-year to 20,600 tonnes in 2019 H1 on the back of the industry’s ongoing shift to higher-nickel cathode chemistries, while nickel deployment in PHEV and HEV batteries increased a mere 8% and 13%, respectively, versus 2018 H1 due to weak sales-growth.
Further, in 2019 H1, 7,200 tonnes of battery-grade cobalt were deployed globally in batteries of all newly-sold passenger EVs combined, an increase of 81% over the amount deployed in 2018 H1. Over the same period, cobalt deployment in BEVs increased 107% year-over-year to 6,100 tonnes in 2019 H1 resulting from strong BEV sales and steadily increasing average pack capacity.
Asia-Pacific was responsible for deployment of 61% of all cobalt used globally in EV batteries in 2019 H1, up from 50% in 2018 H1, as key Chinese cell suppliers increasingly shift from cobalt-devoid LFP cathodes to cobalt-bearing NCM cathodes.
Among the other findings of the report:
Tesla deployed 11.0 GWh in 2019 H1, more than its three closest competitors combined (BYD, BJEV, Nissan). Tesla’s dominance stems from strong sales of its high capacity BEVs (incl. Model 3, S and X) which have battery capacities of 60 to 100 kWh, versus the global sales-weighted-average of 19.7 kWh for all EVs sold by all EV makers in 2019 H1.
As supplier to Tesla (and Toyota), Panasonic deployed 1.7x more battery capacity (approximately 12.5 GWh) in 2019 H1 than its nearest competitor, CATL. CATL more than quadrupled its deployment year-over-year to 7.5 GWh on the back of an ever-growing list of supply agreements it continues to forge. Meanwhile, LG Chem continues making solid headway in the BEV market through supply agreements with Renault, Hyundai-Kia, Chevrolet and China’s Changan, among others.
Deployment of NCM 523 cells amounted to 19.1 GWh (41% of total) in 2019 H1, followed by NCA (3rd gen) with 8.0 GWh deployed (17% of total), and NCM 622 with 5.7 GWh deployed (12% of total) .
In 2019 H1 total global EV registrations were 25% higher than they were in the same period last year, and 98% higher than the same period three years ago, in 2016 H1.
The global EV market has been buoyed primarily by strong growth in battery electric vehicle (BEV) registrations, up 70% in 2019 H1 versus 2018 H1, while simultaneously being muted by weak growth in registrations of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs).
After rising from a mere 16% of total global passenger EV registrations in 2016 H1, BEVs made up an imposing 36% of the market in 2019 H1 and this share is poised to increase rapidly and steadily in the years ahead as demand for PHEVs and conventional HEVs wanes.
In 2019 H1, global battery capacity deployed in all newly-sold passenger EVs combined amounted to 46.3 GWh, an increase of 89% over the same period the year prior. This increase is attributed to strong EV sales growth overall coupled with a boost in BEV sales relative to HEV sales, translating to a 52% increase in the average EV’s battery capacity over the same period, from 12.9 kWh to 19.7 kWh.