LFP remains the top driver of EV battery lithium demand

Jan. 24, 2024

Global LFP market share rises to 31%

In November 2023, a record 41,240 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) were deployed onto roads globally in the batteries of all newly sold passenger EVs (BEVs, PHEVs and HEVs) combined, up 31% (or 9,876 tonnes) from the same month the year before.

This growth was driven by a combination of strong unit sales and a rise in the battery capacity of the average EV sold during the month. Specifically, global EV registrations rose 30% year-over-year in November 2023 and the sales-weighted average EV’s battery capacity climbed 2% to 37 kWh across all EV types combined.

By cathode chemistry, LFP led the pack in November 2023, driving 12,771 tonnes of LCE onto roads worldwide, up 34% versus the same month the year prior. In total, the cobalt, nickel and manganese-free cell chemistry captured 31% of the passenger EV battery market by LCE units deployed.

In second spot, NCM 5-Series (~50%-plus nickel content) cathode chemistries hauled 9,528 tonnes of LCE onto roads globally in November 2023, up 33% year-over-year, netting NCM 5-Series a 23% share of the market by LCE deployed, a slight increase over November 2022.

In third place, NCM 8-Series (~80%-plus nickel content) powered 8,120 tonnes of LCE onto highways and byways in November 2023, up a significant 54% year-over-year, capturing 20% of the market versus 17% the year before.

NCM 6-Series (3,187 tonnes of LCE deployed) and third generation NCA cells (3,093 tonnes of LCE deployed) took fourth and fifth spots in November 2023 with both capturing nearly 8% of the global passenger EV battery market by LCE units deployed. NCA barely edged out NCM 7-Series cells in November 2023, which were responsible for 2,976 tonnes of LCE deployment during the month.

Collectively, high-nickel cell chemistries (NCM 6-, 7-, 8-, 9-, NCA, and mixtures thereof) captured 43% of the global market by lithium units deployed in November 2023, unchanged from November 2022, Adamas data shows.

Adamas take:

Globally, the sales-weighted average amount of LCE deployed per EV reached 21.9 kg in November 2023, up 1% year-over-year, mostly on the back of the long-running trend of EV makers bulking up battery capacity (i.e., kWh) across model ranges.

Combined with historically strong EV sales at the end of the year, December will almost certainly be a new all-time peak for battery lithium demand.



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