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Driven by the global net zero emission target, the transformation of road transportation towards electrification is accelerating and the global new energy vehicle (NEV) industry is in a period of rapid growth, driving a surge in power battery demand. By 2024, the installed capacity of the global power battery market is expected to increase from a GWh-scale to TWh, exceeding 3TWh by 2030, of which China's installed capacity of power batteries is expected to account for approximately 45% of the world total.
Responding to imminent TWh-scale market demand in the electric vehicle (EV) field, mainstream global power battery manufacturers are accelerating the expansion of production capacity. Coupled with the broad market space of electrochemical energy storage, the speed and scale of battery manufacturers’ capacity expansion far exceeds prior periods. According to TrendForce statistics, the world's top ten power battery manufacturers including mainstream battery manufacturers such as CATL, LG Energy Solutions, BYD, CALB, Samsung SDI, and Panasonic have planned to reach 4.2TWh of power & energy storage battery capacity by 2025. Chinese manufacturers account for approximately 3.1TWh with a speed and scale of battery capacity expansion that leads the world.
It is worth noting that TrendForce indicated, power & energy storage batteries are booming due to the rapid growth of EV and electrochemical energy storage market demand, unbalancing the supply and demand of key upstream new energy battery raw materials, especially for key precursor resources such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel. The growth rate of supply falls short of downstream demand, restricting the rapid expansion of the power battery industry chain to the expansion cycle of precursor mineral resources such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel, and resulting in greater power battery manufacturing costs in recent years. As a result, more and more downstream battery manufacturers and even EV companies have been investing in mineral resources in recent years in order to accelerate the supply of materials.
TrendForce believes, not only does the advent of the power battery industry’s TWh intelligent manufacturing era pose a huge challenge for the supply growth rate of upstream resources such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel in the industry chain, it also tests whether equipment manufacturers can quickly respond to customers' demand for continuous expansion of production capacity and large-scale manufacturing requirements to improve equipment energy efficiency and reduce costs. At present, it is difficult for lithium-ion battery raw materials pricing represented by lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide to decline significantly in the short term as prices are subject to the expansion cycle of mineral resources at the forefront of the power battery industry chain. Before 2024, pressure to reduce battery cost will remain relatively high but the high price of lithium will also accelerate the large-scale application of sodium-ion battery technology in energy storage and low-speed EVs. At the same time, upstream and downstream constituents of the industrial chain jointly increasing capital investment in upstream lithium, cobalt, and nickel resources will help to ease tight resource supply.