BAKU, Azerbaijan, October 19. The global demand for lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries is expected to quadruple by 2050, resulting in more than $0.6 trillion of investments in electrolyte and cathode production, Wood Mackenzie, a global research and consultancy group, forecasts, Trend reports via WoodMac.
According to WoodMac experts, in the scenario in which the rise in global temperatures since pre-industrial times is limited to 1.5 °C by the end of this century, and the net zero targets by 2050 are set, EV sales double by 2030, boosting the demand for Li-ion batteries.
“We are still at the early stages of a long journey for the EV and storage sectors. Challenges are coming to scale up and develop each step of the production chain, from mine sites through to sulfate, precursor, cathode, and battery production,” the report said.
The global cell industry requires an extra 6.6 TWh of production. Meanwhile, the deficit in cathode active material is expected to reach 8 TWh, calling for $78 billion of investments in the production, the outlook said.
At the same time, WoodMac forecasts lithium demand in a -1.5 scenario to increase by 62 percent, reaching 6.7 million tons by 2050, which is 9 times larger than the current lithium demand.
“Lithium supply will struggle to keep up. As an increasing number of mines reach their end of life, supply from recycled materials will become increasingly important, eventually becoming the largest source of lithium. The forecast supply deficit will partially be met with supply from new and unknown sources. As the market expands these sources could be of lower quality – and higher cost,” the report noted.
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