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Global automotive lithium-ion production fell massively short in 2014

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 14:33 -- Paul Crompton
Global automotive lithium-ion production fell massively short in 2014

The hangover of the lithium plant-building boom post 2010 was felt across the lithium-ion battery manufacturing industry in 2014, according to a report by the US Department of Energy.

Not one of the major automotive lithium-ion battery producing nations were able to reach full capacity during 2014 as the global output reached 5.4GWh of its 27.5GWh battery making potential, said the report.

And of course, the shortcomings in output meant predicted $/KWh of battery packs were still not being reached as peak production fell short.

Japan led the pack in 2014, producing around 2GWh of automotive lithium-ion battery cells in 2014, accounting for 37% of world-wide production.

Korea was second with 1.3GWh of production with 24% of the market share in 2014.

China, although lagging far behind with just 0.8GWh of production (15% of global production), displayed the most room for growth with 10.4 GWh of additional capacity commissioned or under construction in 2014.

The US produced about 1GWh or 19% of the world’s total capacity of automotive lithium-ion batteries in 2014. That left a shortcoming of its potential of around 2.6GWh.

However, with the Tesla Gigafactory scheduled to produce 35GWh of lithium-ion batteries per year— that’s more than the combined global capacity in 2014— the US could jump to the top producer when its comes on-line in 2017.

Although, of course, Tesla will use batteries manufactured at the Gigafactory in its ‘Powerwall’ residential energy storage system.