Decarbonizing transportation depends on quickly and significantly increasing the production of electric vehicles, which depends on increasing the mining and refining of battery mineral resources. Batteries are also becoming more and more essential for efficiently and effectively scaling up the deployment of renewable energy sources. The lithium market would need to grow by at least 25 times from its level in 2021 by the year 2050, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, a major organization that tracks and analyzes lithium market data.
While the market for electric vehicles and all the lithium required for them get a lot of attention, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, stationary energy storage will account for 2/3 of the 11.2 million tonnes of lithium that will be produced annually by that time.
By 2032, the analysts predict that 2.9 million tonnes of LCE (Lithium Carbonate Equivalent) would be produced annually. Take into account that 2.7 tonnes of LCE have thus far been produced between 2015 and 2022. All of the battery-grade lithium that was created in 2021 is anticipated to be used in one month by 2040.
Simon Moores, CEO of Benchmark, said, “The long-term roadmap for lithium is established, but the supply chain scaling challenge has just started. This data indicates that the generational crisis we have is only getting started and won’t be resolved in the 2020s.
In 2022, there will be 40 lithium mines operating and producing lithium, according to Benchmark. If battery recycling doesn’t commence, according to By 2050 , the company, there will be a need for 234 additional lithium mines (which, of course, is completely unrealistic but is a place to start from for such an analysis). According to Benchmark, over 20% of lithium compounds will be made from recycled batteries or processing debris in 2040. Due to the low quantity of older electric vehicles currently and in the near future, very little recycled lithium will come from recovered EV batteries; instead, this content will come from process waste. It is predicted that starting around the middle of the 2030s, recycled battery lithium will make up an increasing amount of this content and eventually make up an increasing amount of this supply.
Benchmark also pointed out that this year’s demand for EV batteries has increased from 39% of the total demand for batteries in 2015 to 79%. However, as previously mentioned, Benchmark anticipates that by 2050, only 33% of the battery demand would come from the EV battery market and 67% will come from the stationary energy storage sector. However, the EV market has to accomplish a major increase in EV battery output given that China wants to sell 100% “new energy vehicles” by 2060 and the European Union wants to sell no fossil fuel vehicles by 2050. Moores stated that it is essential for legacy OEMs, EV manufacturers, and battery cell manufacturers to invest on long-term generational vital minerals supply, notably for lithium. If not, market volatility will last much longer, governments won’t attain Net Zero by 2050, and automakers won’t produce their EVs.
You can attend Benchmark Mineral Intelligence’s next ” Benchmark Week ” in the middle of November to acquire more details about the global lithium market.
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