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Christian Cavallo Jan 23, 2023
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Welcome to this week’s edition of the Thomas Index Report.
Electric vehicle (EV) adoption is rising at an unprecedented pace. It is estimated that EVs will take a massive 32% share of the car market by 2030 and grow to over 45% by 2035. Let’s explore how this projected growth impacts the sourcing of cornerstone chemicals for EV applications and how manufacturers are preparing for increased demand. Thomasnet.com®’s sourcing data from over 76,000 sourcing categories revealed that the top industrial chemical categories showing significant year-over-year growth are lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, cobalt, and graphite, all of which are key EV battery materials.
Lithium carbonate is an essential precursor for industrial lithium applications. After reacting with calcium hydroxide, this lithium salt converts into lithium hydroxide, the principal element in most rechargeable battery cathodes. The rise in EV manufacturing is reflected in Thomasnet.com® data, where lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide sourcing year-over-year surged 156% and 196%, respectively.
On the opposite side of the battery, graphite is the major constituent in EV battery anodes, thanks to its abundance and stability over successive charging cycles. The most common lithium-ion batteries rely on graphite, where an average EV contains around 70 kilograms of graphite alone. Thomasnet.com®’s sourcing data indicated a 40% year-over-year increase in graphite sourcing, and this demand is estimated to grow nonlinearly as more EV models roll out.
Cobalt, the blue magnetic metal critical to most battery applications, currently bottlenecks EV supply chains. Mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo account for 70% of the world’s cobalt mine production, creating significant supply restrictions for the metal. Thomasnet.com®’s data showed a 111% year-over-year increase in cobalt sourcing, displaying a sustained need for this element as EVs are scaled to commercial volumes.
As EV manufacturing grows in the coming decade, demand for these chemicals will continue to drive both procurement solutions and innovation in the energy storage industry.
I’m Anna Wells, and this is the Thomas Index Report.
Image Credit: TIR
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