- Lithium is used in the manufacturing of electric vehicle batteries, drugs and ceramics & glassware.
- Sales of electric vehicles almost doubled in 2021 relative to previous year.
- The volume of lithium used for manufacturing batteries has increased significantly in the last 10 years.
- With the world aggressively progressing to achieve the 2050 carbon-neutrality goals, demand for Lithium is further expected to grow in the future.
Lithium has recorded an unprecedented rally in the last decade. The light, white shiny metal has wide-ranging applications like the production of greases, polymer production and ceramics and glasses. But its utilisation in the manufacturing of batteries has logged significant growth in recent times.
The use of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) has been trending up staggeringly because of their rising utilisation in portable devices and electric vehicles. Sales of electric vehicles almost doubled in 2021, relative to the previous year, because of their robust demand over hybrid vehicles and improvement in their range corresponding to a single charge.
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Demand for EVs is further expected to remain bullish in coming years as the world aims to make a swift transition to clean energy technologies. With a rise in EVs’ demand, demand for lithium is also anticipated to grow in the near term.
Change in lithium’s utilisation over the time
Demand for lithium has changed significantly over the past 10 years. Currently, most of the lithium is used to produce batteries. The total share of the key metal for batteries has increased from 27% to 74%.
As per the USGS 2011 Minerals Yearbook, the total lithium consumption across the globe in 2011 was estimated to be ~25,700t. The overall consumption increase was estimated to be 93,000t in 2021, recording a jump of nearly 262% in the last 10 years.
While casting a glance at the quantitative scale, the volume of lithium used for manufacturing batteries in 2011 was merely 6,939 tonnes, it surged massively to 68,820 tonnes in 2021, recording a jump of a whopping 892%.
Apart from batteries, the ceramics and glass section has also recorded decent gains in the lithium demand over the past 10 years, while demand from other sectors was not affected significantly.
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With the world aggressively progressing to achieve the 2050 carbon-neutrality goals, as a part of commitments made in the Paris Agreement, demand for the battery metal is expected to rise further in the future.
Demand for lithium for battery manufacturing has recorded tremendous growth in the past 10 years. The demand is further anticipated to rise in the future with more EVs coming into the market amid the green push.