BEV sales lull fuels drop in nickel loading per average EV

Nov. 29, 2023

Nickel loading in average EV down slightly in September as BEV sales growth slowed

In September 2023, the average passenger BEV sold globally contained 24.5 kilograms of nickel (up 4.8% year-over-year), the average PHEV contained 6.7 kilograms of nickel (up 21.7% year-over-year), and the average HEV contained 4.1 kilograms of nickel (up 2.1% year-over-year).

However – despite nickel loadings rising for all EV types in September 2023 – the amount of nickel contained in the average passenger EV (BEV, PHEV and HEV) sold globally during the same period fell slightly as BEV sales growth slowed and PHEV and HEV sales growth accelerated.

Overall, the average passenger EV sold globally in September 2023 contained 14.8 kilograms of nickel – down 0.2% from the same month last year, according to the Adamas Intelligence EV Battery Capacity and Battery Metals Tracker.  

September weakness to be followed by a record calendar quarter for EV battery nickel consumption

In September 2023, BEV sales were up 13% year-over-year while PHEV and HEV sales were up 46% and 31%, respectively, over the same period.

With inherently smaller batteries, the relatively strong sales growth of PHEVs and HEVs translated to a slight drop in the average EV’s pack capacity over the same period, contributing to nickel’s weak performance in September.

Overall, nickel deployment in passenger EV batteries amounted to 26,607 tonnes in September 2023, up 24% year-over-year on the back of a similar 24% rise in EV unit sales over the same period.

Adamas take:

As noted in other recent insights, at least part of the lull in September BEV sales growth is attributed to some buyers waiting for delivery of the refreshed Tesla Model 3 Highland, which started in October.

As global BEV (namely Tesla) sales growth picks up again and accelerates through Q4, we expect sales-weighted average EV pack capacities and nickel loadings to increase in tandem, translating to a record calendar quarter for EV battery nickel consumption. 

RELATED: Toyota doubles down on hybrids with fresh $8 billion US investment



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