$52 Billion Market for EV Battery Cell and Pack Materials Forecast by IDTechEx

January 21, 2021

News

A new report from IDTechEx, “Materials for Electric Vehicle Battery Cells and Packs 2021-2031”, identifies and analyzes trends in the materials used for the assembly and production of battery cells and battery packs in the EV market. The report also provides market forecasts for over 20 key material categories in terms of demand in tonnes in addition to market value.

A new report from IDTechEx, “Materials for Electric Vehicle Battery Cells and Packs 2021-2031”, identifies and analyzes trends in the materials used for the assembly and production of battery cells and battery packs in the EV market. The report also provides market forecasts for over 20 key material categories in terms of demand in tonnes in addition to market value.

Li-ion batteries utilize materials such as nickel, cobalt, lithium, copper, insulation, thermal interface materials, and more at a cell- and pack-level. Per the company, the markets for these materials will see an increase in demand that would not have been present without the take-off of electric vehicle markets.  

Battery Cell Materials  

OEMs are changing the way they make batteries. Many materials are involved, one such material is cobalt, which in addition to being very expensive, has its supply and mining confined mostly to China and the Democratic Republic of Congo. As a result, OEMs are trending towards higher nickel cathode chemistries like NMC 622 or NMC 811 in some new models. 

Up until 2018, the Chinese electric car market was predominately using LFP cathodes. This has now transitioned such that, as of 2019, only 3 % of cars utilized LFP batteries. However, Tesla has now introduced the LFP Model 3 made in China, which could upset this trend. Additionally, LFP is used for markets like Chinese electric buses. According to the company, despite the reduction in market share of materials like cobalt, the increasing market for electric vehicles will drive demand for cobalt and many other materials higher over the next 10 years. 

Battery Pack Materials 

Whilst the energy density improvements of Li-ion cells might be the most prominent battery improvements in the public eye, we are also seeing an increase in pack-level energy density at a greater rate than just cell-level improvements. Manufacturers are improving their battery designs; the mass of materials being used around the cells is being reduced, allowing for a lighter battery pack or more cells to be used for the same mass. The choice of materials for several pack components also affects these improvements. The thermal management strategy also impacts these choices, with increased energy density and consumer demand for fast charging, thermal management has to be more effective but also present a smaller and lighter package. Several materials see a decrease in utilization per vehicle, but this is often overshadowed by the growing market for EVs.

In the report “Materials for EV Battery Cells and Packs 2021-2031”, a database collated by IDTechEx of over 300 battery-electric and plug-in hybrid passenger car variants is used to determine trends in the battery cell and pack energy density, energy capacity, cell geometry, cell chemistry, and thermal management strategy, leading to a comprehensive set of material demands and market value forecasts. 


For more information on this report, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/EVBattMat

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Tiera Oliver, Assistant Editor for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits and constructing stories. She also assists with newsletter updates as well as contributing and editing content for ECD podcasts and the ECD YouTube channel. Before working at ECD, Tiera graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.S. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university’s student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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