Top EVs by nickel deployed in Europe in June 2023
In the fast growing EV industry, nickel demand coming under pressure
Even amid booming demand from EVs, most of the nickel mined around the world still ends up as stainless steel.
China forges more than half the world’s steel, but considering the country’s faltering construction sector, nickel price bulls have set their sights on electric cars to boost the metal’s prospects.
Nickel demand is set exceed 3 million tonnes for the first time this year with most of the growth coming from lithium-ion batteries used in EVs, where nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode chemistries dominate.
But even in the EV industry nickel demand is coming under pressure.
LFP putting a dent in global nickel demand
The Adamas Intelligence EV Battery Capacity and Battery Metals Tracker shows in June of this year nickel and cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries commanded 50% of the passenger EV market in terms of battery capacity (MWh) deployed onto roads in China, the world’s largest market.
Worldwide, LFP’s market share now sits just above 30%, but in the US and Europe where battery range is a prime consideration for prospective buyers and fewer entry-level vehicles are sold compared to China, NCM is still the go-to cathode chemistry.
Adamas data indicates that in June of this year nickel deployed in the batteries of EVs sold in Europe surged 58% compared to the same month in 2022. Sequentially, the nickel used in batteries for newly-sold cars in the region was up 21% month-over-month for a total of more than 8,600 tonnes, some 40% of the global total.
Tesla’s Model Y led the pack by a wide margin, responsible for 16% of the nickel deployed in June 2023 in Europe at nearly 1,400 tonnes. The popular ID. 4 mid-size SUV came in at number two while another vehicle in the Volkswagen stable, the Skoda Enyaq iV, built on the same platform as the ID.4, sits at number three.
The Volkswagen group also occupies the number four position with the ID.3 ahead of fellow German carmaker BMW with its i4 model. Tesla’s Model 3 sits just outside the Top 5 in terms of nickel deployed. It was the second-bestselling EV in Europe in June behind the Model Y based on registrations, but the popularity of the LFP standard range version imported from Shanghai means the Tesla workhorse features lower down the nickel rankings.
Note: In order to produce the most accurate and granular data, battery capacity and metal deployed numbers in the Adamas Intelligence EV Battery Capacity and Battery Metals Tracker do not include cars leaving assembly lines, those on dealership lots or in the wholesale supply chain; only end-user registered vehicles are considered.
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