Li-ion battery: checkmate for the European players?

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Asia dominates the Li-ion battery supply chain, but Europe is on the rise.

“Global Li-ion battery demand continues its impressive growth and will reach a massive 1156 GWh of yearly demand by 2026.” asserts Shalu Agarwal, PhD, Technology & Market Analyst, Power Electronics & Materials at Yole Intelligence, part of Yole Group. She adds: “The main reason for this growth is the demand for EV/HEV and other e-mobility applications. According to Yole’s analysis, e-mobility alone will represent about 88% of global Li-ion battery demand.”

For Milan Rosina, PhD, Principal Analyst, Power Electronics & Batteries at Yole: “The tremendous growth in demand for Li-ion batteries is due to various factors. First is the increasing demand for a given application. Second, in some applications, for example power tools, Li-ion battery’s share is increasing via progressive replacement of “older” battery technologies like lead-acid and NiMH batteries. Third, and yet another factor fueling battery demand, is the new battery applications and a growing share of battery-powered power tools and consumer devices. That explains why Yole investigates disruptive battery technologies and related markets in depth for many years now”.

Titre du visuel

june 2021

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Thematic(s) :

Indeed, the market research and strategy consulting company is publishing numerous battery reports all year long:

Released today, the Status of the Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery Industry 2021 report offers deep insights into the rechargeable Li-ion battery market, covering the three main application segments: consumer electronics, electric mobility, and stationary energy storage. It also offers a thorough analysis of different Li-ion chemistries and their future applicative potential. Including market trends and forecasts, supply chain, technology trends, technical insights and analysis, take away and outlook, this study also delivers an in-depth understanding of the ecosystem and main players’ strategies.

What are the economic and technological challenges of the Li-ion battery industry? What are the key drivers? Who are the suppliers to watch, and what innovative technologies are they working on?

Yole presents today its vision of the status of the rechargeable Li-ion battery industry.

As analyzed by Yole’s team in the new Status of the Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery Industry 2021 report, Li-ion battery has become the technology of choice for many applications. As a result, it attracts numerous players: R&D labs, cell component manufacturers, cell and battery pack manufacturers, and system integrators.
Asia dominates the Li-ion battery supply chain, especially China, where Chinese Li-ion battery manufacturer CATL is the world leader in battery manufacturing. China’s success results from its sizeable domestic battery demand, control of more than 70% of the world’s graphite raw material refining, and massive cell and cell component manufacturing capacity. Korea and Japan rank number two and three in the Li-ion battery supply chain. While both countries are among the leaders in battery and cell component manufacturing (LG Energy Solution, Samsung SDI, SK Innovation, Panasonic), they do not have the same influence in raw materials refining and mining as China.

According to Shalu Agarwal: “Although Asia dominates the Li-ion battery supply chain, Europe is on the rise. As EV demand grows, there is an increasing need to establish cell manufacturing facilities close to the EV production site. To access the European EV market, Asian battery makers implement their factories in European countries. At the same time, European companies also invest in European battery factories to catch the business associated with domestic battery demand”.
Li-ion batteries for electric vehicles are in high demand, and in the future, battery supply may be an obstruction. Therefore, all carmakers have pursued different strategies to secure cell supplies. For example, many carmakers partner with battery manufacturers (e.g., BMW and Northvolt); while some carmakers jointly establish a battery manufacturing factory with cell manufacturers (e.g., GM with LG Energy Solution; Renault with Envision AESC and Verkor); other companies are in a race to develop in-house battery production (e.g., BYD, Tesla, Daimler).
As battery demand grows, the need for battery components (anode, cathode, electrolyte, and separators) also increases. To meet this demand, the companies manufacturing battery components (e.g., BTR, Asahi Kasei, SK Innovation) are increasing their production capacity rapidly.

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