Growing EV Popularity is Powering China’s Battery-Metal Lead

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As electric vehicles (EVs) continue to rise in popularity across global markets, battery metals are also increasing in demand, effectively powering China’s lead in the production of battery metals – with lithium-ion battery demand expected to see a sevenfold increase over the next nine years.

According to a Wednesday report from Bloomberg, lithium-ion battery demand is expected to surpass 2.8 terawatt-hours per year, which equates to the yearly output of 80 Tesla Gigafactories. EVs are expected to make up 72 percent of the lithium-ion market, with those estimated to increase battery metal demand for copper and aluminum fivefold.

In Bloomberg’s report, the publication said, “Diversifying the global supply chain would require significant investment from regions such as Europe and North America.”

This year’s 2030 battery demand outlook has already increased 35 percent from last year’s, as EVs continue to grow rapidly in popularity throughout the globe.

Currently, China accounts for nearly half of this year’s new lithium hydroxide projects, alongside 55 percent of the globe’s nickel sulfate and 80 percent of the world’s cobalt sulfate demand, according to the report. In addition, the country makes up a whopping 95 percent of the world’s manganese sulfate production, including nearly all the graphite used to produce anodes.

While Tesla, the world’s largest EV-only company, has announced plans to spend over $1 million annually on Australian minerals, to source a number of its battery minerals from Canada, and to build a lithium hydroxide refinery in Texas, the rest of the world will still have a long way to go if it hopes to match China’s growing EV battery mineral supply.

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