The global passenger xEV (BEVs, PHEVs, HEVs) market is growing very fast, but the battery market continues to grow significantly faster, as the average battery capacity increases.

According to Adamas Intelligence's 4th biannual ‘State of Charge: EVs, Batteries and Battery Materials’ report (by the way, it's free after registration), the number of global passenger xEV registrations increased in H2 2020 by 58% year-over-year to 3.53 million.

In the same period, the global xEV battery capacity deployment increased by 93% year-over-year to 92.5 GWh. 88% of that (81.4 GWh) falls on BEVs, Only 10% (9.25 GWh) on PHEVs, and the rest are hybrids - 2% (1.85 GWh).

It means that the xEV battery market is outpacing the xEV market, growing 60% quicker. That's because the average battery capacity increase is basically all types of xEVs - all-electric, plug-in hybrids and even conventional hybrids.

Because of the high number of long-range all-electric cars, the average is surprisingly high - above 26 kWh per vehicle (even including hybrids). The average increased by 23% year-over-year. It proves that consumers prefer to buy models with a higher range.

Another interesting finding is that only six battery cell suppliers control more than 89% of the market (H2 2020): LG Energy Solution, CATL, Panasonic, Samsung SDI, BYD and SK Innovation.

The year 2020 happened to be a great comeback for the LFP chemistry, which noted more than a six-fold increase year-over-year in deployment (in watt hours) in the second half of the year.

Manufacturers are clearly looking for more affordable battery types that do not contain cobalt. However, as of now, the NCM and NCA chemistries of lithium-ion batteries are still the most popular.

In Europe, the xEV sales increased 127% year-over-year (in H2 2020), while the battery capacity deployed was 174% higher. It means 37% higher growth of the average capacity than vehicle sales.

The highlights include also info about the global demand for key materials in H2 2020:

  • lithium carbonate equivalent (“LCE”): 57,300 tonnes, up 96% year-over-year
  • nickel: 53,150 tonnes, up 69% year-over-year
  • cobalt: 12,700 tonnes, up 85% year-over-year
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