The growing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is driving the increasing demand for lithium, nickel and cobalt – critical metals used as cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries in the automotive, energy and electronics industries.
According to Deloitte’s Electric Vehicle Trends, EV sales are forecast to grow from 2.5 million in 2020 to 11.2 million by 2025, and to 31.1 million by 2030. Analysts from Roskill, a commodity research firm and a leader in critical materials supply chains, provide an outlook on battery metals’ markets over the next decade.
Global demand for lithium carbonate — one of two primary forms of lithium used in EVs — is expected to exceed one million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) in 2026, according to David Merriman, an expert on EV and battery materials at Roskill.
“To meet this increasing demand for lithium products, which is more than double that expected this year, we would need to see not just an expansion in output from existing producers but also new producers looking to commission new capacity,” he said in an interview. “This will require significant new investment in the industry.”
Over the medium-term, a significant amount of additional capacity will need to be brought online, which will require lithium prices to support the build-out and investment in new capacity either from existing producers or new producers.
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