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Lithium Batteries



 

Battery Types

  • The Tesla Model S, with its 70kWh lithium-ion battery, uses 63kg of LCE (12kg of Li) - 14% percent by weight, or 10,000 times that of a cell phone
  • For every 1% of electric vehicle penetration of the global passenger car market, add 50-70,000t of LCE demand, or around 30% of the total current lithium market
  • Current demand forecasts for lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) range from 550 to 600ktpa in 2025, up from 200ktpa in 2016, mostly driven by increase in lithium-ion battery uptakes for storage and EVs
  • Total, an oil giant, predicts 30% penetration of car market by EVs by 2030, for 20 million sales
  • This would require 1-1,200,000t LCE, or 6x current global production
  • This does not take into account lithium-ion batteries for:
  • home or grid stationary storage, and
  • E-Bikes, buses, and other forms of transportation

All of which are seeing rapidly increasing rates of growth.

In a lithium-ion battery, lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging. Li-ion batteries use an intercalated lithium compound as one electrode material, compared to the metallic lithium used in a non-rechargeable lithium battery. The electrolyte, which allows for ionic movement, and the two electrodes are the constituent components of a lithium-ion battery cell. The three primary functional components of a rechargeable lithium-ion battery are the positive and negative electrodes and electrolyte. Various iterations of the lithium-ion battery have been produced or are in development, but lithium, due to its unique properties, is integral to each battery design. Lithium-based batteries are able to store as much as three times more energy than other materials, have no memory effect, and have a high energy to weight ratio, giving it a competitive advantage, and making it the key ingredient for rechargeable batteries.

Large-scale investment is expected to bring significant cost reductions and performance improvements for lithium-based batteries. New developmental rechargeable battery technologies such as lithium-air and lithium-sulphur could dramatically increase the power to weight ratio, and reduce the cost of rechargeable batteries. Delivering on this potential is critical to support a market breakthrough of grid connected vehicles, could become a game-changer for the economics of renewable energies, and could create material upside to current growth projections, as cheaper/better batteries will drive greater demand.

 

How Much Lithium is Needed in Each Device?

Mobile Phones

Mobile Phones

Lithium content in battery 1 – 3g lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE)
Total lithium consumption 2011 4,300t LCE
Predicted total lithium consumption 2025 9,800t LCE
Predicted Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) 2011 – 2025 6.1%

3Goldman Sachs Low Carbon Economy Report, 2015
4signumBOX estimates, 2012

Laptops

Laptops

Lithium content in battery 30 – 40 g LCE
LCE Total lithium consumption 2011 14,000 t
Predicted total lithium consumption 2025 44,000 t LCE
CAGR 2011 – 2025 8.5%
Smartphones

Smartphones

Lithium content in battery 2 – 3 g LCE
Total lithium consumption 2011 1,700 t LCE
Predicted total lithium consumption 2025 9,600 t LCE
CAGR 2011 – 2025 3.2%
Powertools

Powertools

Lithium content in battery 40 – 60 g LCE
Total lithium consumption 2011 1,100 t LCE
Predicted total lithium consumption 2025 8,000 t LCE
CAGR 2011 – 2025 15.2%
Tablets

Tablets

Lithium content in battery20 – 30 g LCE
Total lithium consumption 2011 1,200 t LCE
Predicted total lithium consumption 202517,000 t LCE
CAGR 2011 – 2025 20.8%
Hybrid cars

Hybrid cars

Lithium content in battery0.8-3.6 kg LCE
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles

Lithium content in battery1-10kg LCE
Pure electric vehicles

Pure electric vehicles

Lithium content in battery10-70KG LCE

 

3 Goldman Sachs Low Carbon Economy Report, 2015

4 signumBOX estimates, 2012
 

 

 

 

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