Many in the battery raw materials market would probably rather see the back of 2019: a year of falling prices and disappointing performances from electric vehicles and consumer electronics.
But interest around electrification shows no signs of slowing. The value chain of a new green automotive industry is being built, from mines and refineries through to battery cell and pack manufacturing.
It’s still early days, but investments and deals made in the coming months will be critical to electric vehicle (EV) adoption potential over the next decade.
What will we be watching in the battery raw materials market in 2020?
Our insight explores these key themes:
- Will mined cobalt output recover after last year’s contraction?
- How long will the lithium price lull last?
- The fledgling graphite sector is already overwhelmed with supply. Will 2020 be another challenging year?
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Read on to find out whether 2020 will be the year when the electric vehicle market shifts into a higher gear.
EV market to stay subsidy-dependent
The stage is set for an EV revolution. But sluggish growth in two of the world’s biggest EV markets in 2019 shows that there is still some way to go. Chinese sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) contracted last year and were around 20% lower than the country’s target. And US sales fell by 10%.
The slower sales are partly down to a sluggish global automotive sector, as well as subsidy changes. But these lower numbers also make clear that EVs aren’t quite ready to stand on their own feet – policy and incentives will continue to play a critical role in EV adoption for some time yet.
Policy and incentives will continue to play a critical role in EV adoption for some time yet.
Will the mass-market vehicle help EVs go mainstream?
This year, several major automakers are launching mass-market EVs in an attempt to better compete on price. Substantial quantities of these mass-market vehicles should trickle onto the market in the second half of the year. But will these new vehicles help to make EVs mainstream in 2020? It’s unlikely – we think total EV sales will stay below 3 million.
A year of bigger and better batteries?
Range anxiety is one of the key barriers to EV adoption. Right now, long ranges are the preserve of high-end, luxury cars. In an attempt to combat range anxiety, nearly every new model boasts a bigger battery offering more miles per charge. Expect the average battery size to get bigger over the next few years.
What do bigger batteries mean for battery chemistries and the EV value chain? Download our latest insight to find out more.