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The study is an attempt to quantify the consumption of key Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery materials and to gauge the level of impact that market developments such as advancement in battery chemistries and technologies, upsurge in electric vehicle (EV) sales, evolving regulatory scenarios, and increasing shift in consumer preferences toward EVs are expected to have on the demand for individual materials over the 7 year period, 2020–2026. The study also presents historical volumes and revenues across segments for the period 2016–2019.The scope of the study comprises analysis of the Li-ion battery materials market, focusing on key material types such as cathode materials, anode materials, electrolytes, and separators. The study also highlights the key aspects associated with materials used in the manufacturing of battery housings/casings and the prospects for plastics and composites in applications. It analyzes the demand for battery materials from applications such as EVs, industrial and energy storage systems (ESS), consumer electronics, and others (medical and healthcare devices and portable tools), while taking stock of the consumption of each of these material types on the basis of a robust methodology—comprising analysis of the regional Li-ion battery production, supply of such products, and the uptake of individual materials.While it took nearly 8 years for the collective global EV (BEVs and PHEVs) sales volume to reach the million-units mark in 2015, the rapid growth in adoption thereafter resulted in annual sales volume reaching nearly 2.3 million in 2019. From a mere 0.7% in 2015, EVs share in the overall automotive sales swiftly reached nearly 2.9% in 2019. The much-awaited surge in adoption of EVs finally seems to be materializing, despite a downward trend in the overall automotive industry, in the case of conventional passenger vehicle sales, especially diesel vehicles, over the last 2 years. Among a multitude of factors, government incentives/subsidies on EVs, coupled with increasingly stringent regulations and legislations pertaining to CO2 emissions, continue to be the primary growth-driving factors for global EV sales.On the flip-side, the prices of EVs available or imported into countries such as India and Brazil are significantly higher than conventional mass-market ICE vehicles. Furthermore, lack of a well-developed network of charging infrastructure in the countries is likely to continue compounding the impediments associated with mass adoption of EVs, at least over the short term.The ever-increasing push toward longer-range vehicles and, hence, higher-energy density batteries entails a shift toward higher-nickel content cathode chemistry-based technologies, partial replacement of graphite with silicon composites in anodes, incorporation of functional additives in electrolytes, and increasing demand for thinner, high-thermal-resistance separators. Battery materials compose a major chunk of the overall battery cost. While battery manufacturers are focusing on increasing capacity and reducing costs, a disruption in the supply of any of these crucial chemicals results in sky-rocketing prices and availability concerns, thereby disrupting the entire value chain. This is exacerbated by other diverse concerns ranging from ethical sourcing (artisanal or small-scale subsistence mining and child labor) to political instability in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)—the single largest supplier of cobalt. With rapid expansion in battery manufacturing infrastructure, incumbents across the value chain are increasingly mandating ethical souring of raw materials, reduction in the use of critical materials, and developing processes and infrastructure for recycling and end-of-life management for Li-ion batteries, especially in Europe.The global Li-ion battery materials market is composed of several large participants operating across key markets and numerous mid-sized companies operating at regional and domestic levels. Strengthening supply capabilities and development of efficacious, cost-effective alternatives that ensure higher-energy density continue to be among the primary points of focus for incumbents.Frost & Sullivan’s analysis indicates that the global Li-ion battery materials market is slated to register a robust double-digit growth of about 13.9% in terms of revenue over the period 2020–2026.Author: Gautam Rashingkar
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