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Global EV battery deployment rises again
Q1-3 global capacity additions close to matching full-year 2022
New EV battery capacity added in the first nine months of 2023 almost matched 2022’s full-year levels, according to new research from Canadian critical minerals consulting firm Adamas Intelligence.
Total capacity of all new battery vehicles deployed onto the road in September 2023 was 64.2GWh, marginally up from 63.7GWh in August. Across January to September, 477.5 GWh of capacity has been added globally in all newly sold passenger, up by 45pc year-over-year and just 3pc shy of 2022 as a whole, Adamas finds.
But September’s year-on-year increase was more modest than earlier in the year at 24pc. “At least some of the September lull can be attributed to Tesla buyers waiting for delivery of the refreshed Model 3 Highland, which started in October,” says Alla Kolesnikova, head of data at Adamas.
For Q3’23 as whole, a new quarterly record of 182.6GWh was added globally, up by 11pc quarter-over-quarter and by 39pc over the same quarter of the previous year. But the quarterly record may not stand for long.
“With the fourth quarter historically being the strongest period of the calendar year — and with Tesla sales expected to accelerate in Q4 with the release of the Highland — Adamas expects global deployment to exceed 200GWh in Q4’23 for the first time ever, pushing the annual total to over 700GWh, more than 45pc higher than the year prior,” the research concludes.
Chinese market leader Catl was responsible for 30pc of all battery capacity deployed globally in September, followed by fellow Chinese battery and EV firm BYD and South Korean battery chemicals company LG Energy Solutions, both of whom secured a 17pc market share during the month. This amounts to 65pc of global battery output being produced by the top three market competitors.
But China’s share of the global market slid to 54pc in the third quarter, down from 58pc a year ago, according to separate research form Adamas, suggesting that some policies aimed at diversifying the EV battery chain away from the east Asian heavyweight’s dominance could be having an effect. The country still, though, produced 98.7GWh, almost four times the second highest producing country, the US.
The data comes as separate research from consultancy Bloomberg NEF (BNEF) finds that battery prices are coming down. “Following unprecedented price increases in 2022, battery prices are falling again this year. The price of lithium-ion battery packs has dropped 14pc to a record low of $139/kW,” Bloomberg says.
According to BNEF senior energy storage associate Evelina Stoikou, the drop in prices this year can be “attributed to significant growth in production capacity across the value chain in combination with weaker-than-expected demand”, as several OEMs reduced or cancelled orders with battery firms as they adjusted EV production targets.
Intelligence firm S&P Global said in early October that falling lithium prices offered a buying opportunity for those sourcing battery material.
But the BNEF analysis indicates that battery demand across EVs and stationary energy storage is still on track to grow at a remarkable pace of 53pc year-on-year, reaching 950GWh in 2023 as whole.