In 2021, the total battery capacity deployed onto roads globally in all newly sold passenger xEV (BEVs, PHEVs, HEVs) is estimated at 286.2 GWh (up 113% year-over-year) from 134.5 GWh estimated for 2020.

According to Adamas Intelligence, over 98% of the total capacity was deployed in plug-in electric cars. It would mean over 280 GWh for BEVs/PHEVs and just several GWh for hybrids.

Even more interesting is the market share of particular groups of lithium-ion chemistries. The "high nickel" group represents the majority of the market:

  • high nickel: 54% share
    i.e., NCM 6-, 7-, 8-series, NCA, NCMA
  • low nickel: 26%
    i.e., NCM 5-series and lower
  • no nickel: 20%
    i.e., primarily LFP

The three groups vary quite significantly depending on the market. For example, in Asia (mainly in China), the share of all three is comparable, while in North America, it's mostly high nickel (the cathodes with about 60% or more nickel content).

The LFP in Europe and North America is pretty rare.


An interesting finding is that despite the fact that no nickel chemistries (mainly LFP) are responsible only for about 20% of the total, they are used in nearly one-quarter of all xEVs.

That is because usually, this type of battery has a lower total capacity. Lower energy density limits the total capacity on one end, while the lower cost encourages use of LFP in smaller, entry-level models on the other hand.

In the Asia-Pacific, the no nickel chemistries represent 34% of the total battery deployment in passenger plug-ins, but there are used in over 41% of the total vehicles.


The final chart is related more to the mining market. Adamas Intelligence, reports that 55% of all lithium carbonate equivalent (“LCE”) units deployed onto roads in 2021 globally were in the form of lithium hydroxide (86% in Americas, 51% in Europe, and 30% in the Asia-Pacific), while the remaining 45% were in the form of lithium carbonate.

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