Lithium-ion batteries are a dominant battery technology specifically for electric vehicles. We expect this battery technology to remain in focus for electric vehicles in the future. Lithium is a silvery-white and very soft metal from the group of alkali metals in the periodic table and the element with the lowest density. In nature, lithium occurs only in compounds due to its high reactivity. It becomes solid at room temperature and is therefore very suitable as an active material in batteries.
Lithium is used for the production of aluminum, batteries, glass and ceramics, but is also used in rocket fuel and lasers. In addition, this element is used in batteries for industrial products such as power tools (garden equipment and tools) and for large-scale energy storage. Lithium is used in more than 37% of the world’s rechargeable battery production. These include lithium-ion batteries for consumer electronics products such as smartphones, laptops, tablets and smartwatches, as well as batteries for electromobility applications such as pure e-cars, hybrid vehicles and e-bikes.
The global market for lithium batteries is expected to grow very strongly in the coming years. Rising demand for electric vehicles will drive the growth of the lithium market, as the number of new registrations for hybrid and electric vehicles powered by rechargeable lithium batteries is increasing rapidly.
Demand for lithium will increase by 130% between 2020 and 2025. Electric vehicles accounted for approximately 39% of demand in 2020. This share is expected to increase to well over 60% by 2025. The remaining 42% is split for batteries in consumer electronics, energy storage batteries and a variety of industrial processes (s. US Geological Survey).
In 2030, global demand for lithium carbonate is expected to reach 1.79 million tons. Electromobility, which is becoming increasingly influential, will strongly influence the demand for batteries and thus also lithium consumption.
Lithium demand is expected to grow steadily (Source: BNEF, March 2021)
Projection of total worldwide lithium demand from 2016 to 2030