Lithium-Ion batteries gaining prominence amongst EVs and HEVs, says Frost & Sullivan report

Rapidly evolving and advanced lithium-ion batteries find more takers with EVs and HEVs gaining prominence, says Frost & Sullivan study. Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) are gaining momentum as a sustainable and alternative means of transportation due to energy reserve issues (depleting oil and gas reserves), and increasing fuel demand, according to a statement released by the research group.
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The possibility that EVs could compete with fossil fuel equivalents is regaining attention because of the advancements in lithium-ion battery technology. The global battery industry produced around 660 million cylindrical lithium-ion batteries, which approximately consumed around 5,280 metric tonnes (MT) of lithium. Auto OEMs have started showing interest in manufacturing clean energy passenger cars, which run efficiently on lithium-ion batteries providing an alternate means of transportation in the near future.
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A new study from Frost & Sullivan finds that the lithium-ion battery market is rapidly evolving and is slowly becoming the technology of choice for next generation EVs. Lithium-ion batteries are a crucial entity of EVs since the better the battery pack, the better the performance of the car in acceleration, better mileage, cost, life span, and other aspects.
Out of the many different types of batteries available, lithium-ion batteries have outweighed conventional lead batteries on many levels. A lithium-ion battery is lightweight, more efficient, has a longer life span, is cost-effective, and is safer when compared with a lead battery. Currently, lithium-ion batteries are used in most electronic equipment like laptops, smart phones, tablets, and cameras. The future of lithium-ion batteries in the automotive sector looks promising as the focus is now on efficient EVs and HEVs.
Frost & Sullivan analysis finds that the global production of lithium in 2012 was 37,000 MT. The production was lead by Chile and Australia, followed by China, Argentina, Portugal, and a few other countries. Currently, lithium reserves worldwide are about 30 Million MT and Latin American (LATAM) countries hold almost 70 percent of lithium supply. Lithium reserves in LATAM countries like Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil account for almost 75-80 percent of global lithium deposits.
“There are multiple and varied applications of lithium. Ceramic and glass account for the largest consumption of lithium; it is used for their strengthening and hardening. But the future of lithium demand looks promising due to its battery application. Demand from the electronics industry is steadily rising as lithium-ion batteries have longer life and recharging capacities that are compatible with laptops, cameras, smart phones, and tablets,” says a Frost & Sullivan’s Metals & Minerals Analyst.
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Lithium is extracted in three different forms – Lithium metal, Lithium mineral (Pharmaceutical Grade), and Lithium mineral (Industry Grade). Lithium metal is used in the construction of anodes in the lithium-ion battery, and its supply chain consists of:
·        Mining companies that extract and refine lithium
·        Companies which produce components like anodes, cathodes, chemicals, separators, and ancillaries that are used in building the lithium-ion batteries
·        Manufacturers who assemble these components into battery cells
·        Battery manufacturers then send it to the pack manufacturers and finally to the OEMs
·        Automotive passenger car manufacturers/OEMs and the electronic industry use battery packs in the building and manufacturing of passenger cars, laptops, cell phones, and tablets.
The forecast for global lithium demand for various segments from 2014 till 2025, according to Frost & Sullivan analysis is:
·        Batteries for portable device – 1,11,176 MT at a CAGR of 9.70 percent
·        Batteries for grid – 7,500 MT at a CAGR of 21.30 percent
·        Batteries for EVs and HEVs – 2,04,901 MT at a CAGR of 21.30 percent
·        Other lithium applications – 1,74,994 MT at a CAGR of 4.70 percent
·        Total lithium demand in batteries – 4,98,571 MT at a CAGR of 10.10 percent
Emerging Applications of Lithium-ion Batteries in Electric Vehicles and Hybrid Vehicles (Importance of Latin American Countries with Regard to Lithium Supply) is part of the Metals & Minerals Growth Partnership Service programme. All studies included in subscription provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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