Top 5 EV Makers by Cobalt Deployed in 2020

Mar. 19, 2021

Volkswagen Group led the pack, the top 5 responsible for nearly 50% of the global total

At Adamas Intelligence, we track ongoing consumption of metals and materials in the batteries of every passenger EV manufactured and sold globally, along with the battery chemistry, battery capacity, cell supplier and a host of other battery specifications for each.

In 2020, our data reveals that a total of 18,750 tonnes of cobalt were consumed in the batteries of newly-sold passenger EVs globally, an increase of 29% year-over-year, resulting from a surge of passenger BEV and PHEV sales in the second half of the year, particularly in China and Europe (see free report from Adamas Intelligence).


By EV maker, Volkswagen Group ‘led the pack’ in 2020 with nearly 3,000 tonnes of the blue metal deployed onto roads in the batteries of new VW, Audi, Porsche, and SEAT electric vehicles, as well as those manufactured with joint venture partners in China. In total, VW-brand EVs were responsible for 42% of the group’s cobalt deployment in 2020, followed by Audi with 35%, Porsche with 15% and all others combined with 8%.

In second spot was Tesla with more than 2,000 tonnes of cobalt deployed onto roads in the batteries of new Model 3, Model Y, Model X and Model S battery electric vehicles. In total, the Tesla Model 3 was responsible for 63% of Tesla’s cobalt deployment in 2020, followed by the Model Y with 16%, the Model X with 13% and the Model S with 9%.

In third place was Hyundai Kia, with approximately 1,800 tonnes of cobalt deployed in new Hyundai and Kia brand electric vehicles, as well as those made with joint venture partners in China. In total, Hyundai brand electric vehicles were responsible for 57% of the group’s cobalt deployment in 2020, followed by Kia with 42% and Chinese joint ventures with 2%.

In fourth place was Daimler with more than 1,200 tonnes of cobalt deployed onto roads in 2020 in the batteries of new Mercedes Benz and Smart electric vehicles, and in fifth place was Stellantis with nearly 1,100 tonnes of cobalt deployed in the batteries of new Peugeot, Opel, Vauxhall, Citroen, DS, Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep and Chinese JV-made electric vehicles.

In total, the top five EV makers by cobalt deployed onto roads in 2020 accounted for 49% of the global total.



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