World’s biggest battery nickel markets year-to-date
World’s biggest nickel markets expanding at vastly different rates
China had the highest total nickel deployed in newly sold EVs during the first nine months of 2023 at 67,887 tonnes, a 23% increase compared to the same period last year, Adamas data shows. China’s share of total global EV battery nickel deployed through September this year fell to 34% from 39% year on year.
The US was ranked second in terms of total nickel deployed with 47,092 tonnes hitting roads through September of this year, up 52% compared to last year. Over the same period, the US increased its share of global EV battery nickel consumption to 23%, up from just under 22% during the first nine months of 2022.
In third, Germany deployed 15,100 tonnes of nickel onto highways and byways through the first nine months of this year, up 45% over the same period the year prior, representing 8% of the global total.
According to data from the Adamas Intelligence EV Battery Capacity and Battery Metals Tracker, through the first nine months of this year a total of 201,175 tonnes of nickel were deployed onto roads in the batteries of newly sold passenger EVs worldwide, a sizeable 42% increase compared to 2022 and already within shouting distance of the calendar 2022 total.
Through the first three quarters of the year, battery nickel deployment trends varied widely among the top 10 nations, with different factors at play in each.
In China, for example, nickel deployment in the batteries of domestically sold EVs is growing at around half the global pace as nickel-free LFP batteries, which have already captured over 50% of the market in China, continue to find favor.
Similarly, in South Korea, EV battery nickel deployment is lagging far behind the global market’s pace, in this case resulting from a shift in EV sales mix this year that has seen BEV sales decline and HEV sales surge higher.
Conversely, in the US, the rate of battery nickel deployment is outpacing that of the world as a whole as nickel-rich battery chemistries continue to dominate the market.
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