LITHIUM 2021: Lithium-ion battery will remain top EV solution

The lithium-ion battery will remain the dominant solution for the electric vehicle (EV) market for the foreseeable future, according to market analysts.

Lithium ion will be the dominant technology due to efficiency and cost, former chief executive officer of LG Chem Power and advisor to the battery industry Prabhakar Patil said during Fastmarkets’ Lithium Supply & Markets conference 2021 in Las Vegas on Wednesday September 22. “The mass EV market will be different flavors of lithium-ion batteries.”

That being said, lithium-ion battery prices, which have been consistently falling, might rise this year given the sharp rise in lithium prices, said Patil. 

Fastmarkets’ assessment of the lithium hydroxide monohydrate 56.5% LiOH.H2O min, battery grade, spot price, cif China, Japan & Korea was at $20-21 per kilogram on September 16, more than double the $8.50-9.50-per-kg level it began 2021 at.

There are now nearly 900,000 EV charging stations globally, Patil said, cementing the growth of the EV market. “EV market share continues to press ahead,” agreed Adam Panayi, managing director at Rho Motion. Western original equipment manufacturers are catching up to their Asian counterparts, Panavi said.

Battery production has been growing to support increased EV demand. Global battery output was about 150 gigawatt hours (GWh) last year. By July 2021, it had already reached 130 GWh, and could hit 250 GWh by the end of the year, Patil said.

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