Global lithium deployment up 64% year-on-year in January 2024

Apr. 2, 2024

Plug-in hybrids accelerate into 2024

Globally, 31,526 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) were deployed onto roads in newly sold electrified vehicles in January 2024, representing a 64% (or 12,272 tonne) increase compared to January 2023. 

Of this total, 73% (or 8,951 tonnes) was derived from lithium carbonate and the remaining 27% (or 3,321 tonnes) from lithium hydroxide in reflection of the relative underperformance of January EV sales outside China where carbonate-derived lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries dominate. 

Passenger battery electric vehicles (BEVs) registered during the month were responsible for 24,900 tonnes of LCE deployed globally, an increase of 50% year-on-year.   

Lithium use in plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) registered the greatest percentage increase among EV types with 6,435 tonnes of LCE deployed in January 2024, surging by 154% over the same month last year.    

Naturally, conventional hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) deployed the least LCE during January 2024 at a mere 191 tonnes, but this figure also represents a noteworthy year-on-year increase of 36% compared to January 2023. 

Global lithium deployment up 164% year-on-year in January 2024

Adamas take:

While the market has bounced back from lows at the end of 2023, benchmark lithium carbonate prices remain down nearly 40% in China and more than 55% below this time last year for the chemical compound delivered to Europe and the US. 

The positive start to the year and rising battery deployment across the board fueled a boost in LCE deployment per average EV – up 9% year on year in January 2024 to 19.6kg. Collectively, this trifecta of growing EV sales, lithium deployment and lithium loading per EV adds further support for a rebounding lithium industry in 2024.   



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