EV Metal Index on course for record year

VW will spend $50 billion on electric cars, autonomous driving and new mobility services by 2023. (Image courtesy of Volkswagen.)

The MINING.COM EV Metal Index, which tracks the value of battery metals in newly registered passenger EVs (including hybrids) around the world fell back from the all-time high hit in September, but still recorded the third best month ever in October.

The index was not only boosted by the overall increase in EV sales during the month of 71% year over year, but also the relative outperformance of full electric cars and plug-in hybrids which saw the total battery capacity increase 122% year on year to nearly 14,000 MWh, according to Adamas Intelligence, which tracks demand for EV batteries by chemistry, cell supplier and capacity in over 90 countries.

Tesla was number one in terms of battery capacity deployed and also led in use of lithium, nickel and graphite with Volkswagen beating out the California carmaker with the volume of cobalt

Battery raw materials deployed in October retreated from the record-breaking tonnage recorded the month before, according to data from Adamas, but compared to the same month last year usage has more than doubled.

Tesla was number one in terms of battery capacity deployed, accounting for nearly 1 out of every 5 MWh hitting roads during the month and also led in use of lithium, nickel and graphite with Volkswagen beating out the California carmaker with the volume of cobalt used in its EVs following strong sales of the ID.3.

The modest month on month rise in prices of the four commodities making up the index supplied by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, a battery supply chain and price reporting company,  was not enough to offset the decline in the use of the raw materials, resulting in a 10.5% month on month decline in the index to $281.6 million.   

Compared to the same month last year, the EV Metal Index surged over 80% and at $1.8 billion year-to-date, 2020 is likely to beat the record set last year as European sales of electric passenger vehicles reach a tipping point and the Chinese auto market continues to grow.

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