Despite slowdown in EV sales, li-ion batteries remain critical – report

Electric vehicles. (Image by rostichep, Needpix).

A report by market analyst Roskill reveals that the slowdown in the Chinese EV market during H2-20‌19 and the covid-19 pandemic have had a significant impact on demand projections for lithium-ion batteries. 

According to Roskill, previous analyses show that, across the world, sales of plug-in EVs have fallen 30% year-on-year in Q1 20‌20, equivalent to roughly 5.5GWh of battery capacity. 

Roskill says that even if they are short-termed, the disruptions to EV sales may have long-term implications

Continued disruption in 20‌20 is expected, with monthly plug-in EV sales in key markets forecast to be reduced by 70% or 80% while lockdown conditions ensue. 

“These disruptions come at a key stage for many automotive OEMs looking to break into the plug-in EV industry,” the report states. “Automotive manufacturers have scheduled launches of a series of new EV models, though increasing sales of higher-margin vehicles such as luxury and SUV models were required to support this transition to EVs.”

In the study, Roskill says that even if they are short-termed, the disruptions to EV sales may have long-term implications, not only to further investment in plug-in EV models but also on legislation in China and Europe, if financial penalties become too damaging to key industry participants. 

The market analyst, however, believes that even though the automotive applications are forecast to be the dominant end-use market for lithium-ion batteries, their use in energy storage systems, portable electronic and power & motive applications will provide support for battery manufacturers.

“Several >1GWh scale projects are scheduled to be constructed by 20‌22, by companies such as Tesla, with continuing demand growth,” the report reads. 

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