In June 2023, total lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) deployment in full electric vehicles (BEVs) was up 35% compared to the same month last year, according to data from Adamas Intelligence. Month-on-month there was a 22% jump in June with just shy of 33,000 tonnes of LCE in EVs rolling out of showrooms around the world.
Tesla’s Model Y, which now consistently outsells the Model 3 by a wide margin, cornered 16% of the global market in June with some 5,400 tonnes LCE deployed onto roads. In terms of registrations in 2023, the two Tesla models account for one out of five BEVs sold worldwide.
Source: Adamas Intelligence
At number three is BYD’s subcompact cross-over style Yuan Plus (also sold as the Atto 3 in some markets) which enjoys 3% of the market by LCE deployed. BYD is China’s number 1 producer, with a commanding 25% share of its domestic market in terms of sales year to date, and the manufacturer boasts three models in the top 10.
The number four slot is occupied by Guangzhou Automobile Corporation’s (GAC’s) Aion Y followed by Volkswagen’s ID.4 mid-size SUV. The ID.4 is sold as the ID.4 Crozz by the German company’s Chinese joint venture partner FAW and as the ID.4 X by SAIC, a state-owned company.
In order to produce the most accurate and granular data, battery capacity and metal deployed numbers in the Adamas Intelligence EV Battery Capacity and Battery Metals Tracker do not include cars leaving assembly lines, those on dealership lots or in the wholesale supply chain; only end-user registered vehicles are considered.
Lithium supply. Lithium prices peaked in January of this year with prices for carbonate and hydroxide trading above $70,000 a tonne. Today prices are in danger of falling through the $20,000 per tonne level. Spodumene concentrate prices remain above $2,500 a tonne but are trading down 50% so far this year.
Australia produces half of the world’s lithium and the country’s natural resources and energy ministry forecasts prolonged weakness for the battery metal. The murky outlook is primarily due to surging production around the world, Adamas notes. Global output is set to come close to 1 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) this year and is expected to ramp up to just under 1.5 million tonnes by 2025, according to the ministry’s predictions. That’s more than double 2022’s worldwide production.
Australia’s share will drop from 50% of global output today to 40% by 2025 despite a doubling of production to 596,000 tonnes by that time. Number two and three producers Chile and China are also expected to continue to grow while emerging production in Argentina, Canada and Zimbabwe will add to the rapid ramp.