Global EV sales pushed battery metals deployment in H2 2020 – report

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In the second half of 2020, global passenger EV registrations grew by 58% year-on-year, a new biannual report by Adamas Intelligence reveals.

According to the market analyst, H2-2020 saw 3.53 million units sold versus 2.24 million units in H2-2019.

The top spot in EV sales was taken by Europe, where a splash of buyer incentives increased purchases by 127% in H2-2020 when compared to the same period the year prior. This growth resulted in a 174% rise in watt-hours of battery capacity deployed, a 205% increase in battery cobalt deployed, a 192% increase in battery lithium deployed and a 135% increase in battery nickel deployed versus H2-2019. 

The top spot in EV sales was taken by Europe, where a splash of buyer incentives increased purchases by 127% in H2-2020

Asia Pacific, on the other hand, posted a modest 38% gain in EV sales, while in the Americas they were 28% larger. 

Global battery capacity deployed in all newly sold passenger EVs combined amounted to 92.5 GWh, 93% more than was deployed in H2-2019. 

In terms of manufacturers, Adamas Intelligence’s research found that Tesla continued to ‘lead the pack’ by battery capacity and battery metals deployed globally in H2-2020 on the back of the strong global sales of the Tesla Model 3. 

LG Energy Solution deployed 273% more watt-hours of battery capacity in the second half of last year than the year prior and this translated to a 303% increase in nickel consumption, 265% increase in lithium consumption and a 203% increase in cobalt consumption versus the same period the year prior. 

“Just six cell suppliers globally (LG Energy Solution, CATL, Panasonic, Samsung SDI, BYD and SK Innovation) were collectively responsible for more than 89% of all battery capacity and battery metals deployed globally in passenger EVs in 2020 H2,” the report reads.

Global EV sales pushed battery metals deployment in H2-2020 - report_1

When it comes to specific chemistries, Adamas found that the deployment (in watt-hours) of LFP cells grew more than six-fold in H2-2020 versus H2-2019, contributing to a boost in the sales-weighted average amount of lithium used per EV. 

Similarly, 57,300 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) were deployed globally in batteries of all newly sold passenger EVs combined, 96% more than was deployed globally in the second half of 2019. 

Looking at battery-grade nickel, the market researcher noted that 53,150 tonnes of the metal were deployed in batteries of all newly sold passenger EVs combined in H2-2020, which meant a 69% rise that what was deployed all around the world in the same period the year before.

Finally, the report shows that over 12,700 tonnes of cobalt were deployed globally in batteries of all newly sold passenger EVs combined. This was 85% more than what was deployed in H2-2019.

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