Top 5 EV makers by graphite deployed year-to-date 2023
Tesla extends lead over other EV makers
Tesla and BYD are the leading drivers of graphite demand for EV batteries globally with 64,095 tonnes and 51,428 tonnes rolled onto roads, respectively, through the first seven months of 2023.
From January through July of this year, both Tesla and BYD increased their deployment of the anode material by 67% year-over-year. In absolute terms, Tesla deployed 25,785 tonnes more of the slippery substance onto roads this year to-date (and BYD 20,664 tonnes more) than the same period the year prior.
Despite stiff competition, Tesla increased its already commanding share of global EV graphite demand to 20% by July-end from 18% the year prior, according to data from the Adamas Intelligence EV Battery Capacity and Battery Metals Tracker.
The third, fourth, and fifth largest consumers this year to-date have been GAC, BMW, and Mercedes, respectively. GAC deployed 15,524 tonnes from January through July, an increase of 7,520 tonnes or 94% compared to the same months in 2022.
BMW’s graphite deployment during the period totaled 11,128 tonnes, 5,214 tonnes or 88% more than last year. Mercedes Benz rounds out the top 5 with 9,850 tonnes of graphite deployed so far this year, an increase of 4,065 tonnes, representing an expansion of 70% compared to the same months in 2022.
Chinese export restrictions
In total, from January to July 2023, graphite deployment amounted to 317,803 tonnes worldwide, Adamas data shows. This is a near 50% increase from the same period in 2022, when the total amount was 213,497 tonnes.
China, the world’s top graphite producer and exporter, said last week that from December exports of some types of natural and synthetic forms of graphite would require permits.
Graphite is used as an anode material in virtually all EV batteries and most cell manufacturers use a combination of natural and synthetic graphite therein. China is home to some 90% of global anode manufacturing capacity.
China’s new graphite controls are another effort to respond to US restrictions on high-technology exports to the country and follow export curbs announced by Beijing in August on chip-making metals, gallium and germanium.
Not to be confused with an export ban, the export restrictions that China has tabled for graphite will not limit exports of the material per-say, but rather will mandate that exporters first obtain a permit – largely mirroring what is already in place in the nation for rare earths. For Beijing, this will foster greater oversight of its graphite export market and allow it to restrict flows to certain entities should it choose to. That said, we’re yet to see China do so with rare earths in the years since enacting an export permitting system for that industry.
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