Contribution of HEVs to Battery Nickel Demand Growth Waning

Jan. 23, 2019

BEV/PHEVs now the primary demand driver of nickel in PV battery market

Over the past 3 years, BEV/PHEVs have become the primary demand driver of nickel in the passenger vehicle (“PV”) battery market, taking over from HEVs, such as the Toyota Prius, that (for the most part) use nickel-rich NiMH batteries.

As shown in the pie graph on the left, in 2016, 51% of nickel deployed by passenger vehicle cell suppliers went into batteries for HEVs. However, as shown on the right, over the first 11 months of 2018, just 28% of nickel deployed by passenger vehicle cell suppliers went into HEVs – a proportion that we expect will drop below 20% in 2019.

BEV/PHEVs to become ever-greater driver while contribution from HEVs wanes

Not surprisingly, we expect passenger BEV/PHEVs to become an ever-greater demand driver for nickel over the coming three years as cell suppliers migrate to higher-nickel cathodes for next generation EV models, and global HEV sales growth (excluding mild and micro HEVs) stagnates.

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