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Europe to grasp quarter of lithium-ion production market as global capacity quadruples to 1.3 TWh

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 15:18 -- Paul Crompton

Global lithium-ion cell manufacturing capacity could rise fourfold compared to last year's figures to reach 1.3TWh in 2030 thanks in part to the rise of gigafactories being built in Europe, according to industry analysts Wood Mackenzie.

The company’s report shows that 119 battery manufacturing facilities that are operational, under construction or announced by more than 50 vendors will increase global battery making capacity. 

Asia will continue to dominate the industry, with the area’s manufacturers— CATL, LG Chem, BYD, and SK Innovation— leading in the capacity arms race. 

Wood Mackenzie senior analyst Mitalee Gupta said: “Manufacturing capacity in Asia Pacific accounts for 80% of global capacity pipeline. The region will remain the leader of lithium-ion battery production for the next decade.  

“Within Asia Pacific, China dominates the pipeline capacity and is expected to double its capacity from 345GWh this year to more than 800GWh by 2030. 

“In addition to local vendors’ rapid expansion in China, foreign manufacturers such as LG Chem, Samsung SDI and SK Innovation have also been adding new lines after they became eligible for subsidies from the Chinese government in 2019.” 

However, emerging European vendors such as Northvolt in Norway, ACC— the joint venture between Saft and PSA Group (8GWh production plant rising to 24GWh) and Britishvolt could push Europe’s market share from 7% of global capacity, to around a quarter in 2030 amid growing demand for batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage. 

Growth will also be driven by Asian manufacturers investing heavily in new plants in Europe, including: CATL’s Erfurt Plant (Germany), LG Chem’s Wroclaw Plant (Poland), and Samsung SDI’s Goed Plant (Hungary). 

The Americas will maintain its share for the next decade, suggest WoodMac, with pipeline capacity concentrated in the US, and led by Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada. 

In terms of battery chemistry, NMC is the mainstream chemistry in operating facilities, followed by LFP. However, announced capacity is often unspecified due to constantly advancing battery technologies and changing market preference. 

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