The global market for electric vehicles (EV) is expected to grow at a substantial CAGR of 15.6% through to 2022, driven by the growing popularity of EVs across countries in Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Europe, says leading data and analytics company GlobalData.

This is turn will drive increased consumption of lithium, as it is needed for the production of lithium-ion batteries. This will support investment in mine expansions across Chile and Australia and new mine development in Chile, Australia, Argentina, and Canada

Demand for EVs has rapidly increased in the recent years, in particular supported by several national governments, providing to the manufacturers and end users various tax incentives and subsidies. Additionally, efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have led to many technological advancements in EVs.

In 2017, 1.1 million new EVs were sold globally of which China accounted for over 50%, followed by the US with 17.3%. In Europe, Norway accounted for 5.4% of global sales, followed by Germany (4.8%) and the UK (4.1%).

Supported by growing EV manufacturing capacity, mainly across APAC and Europe, global EV sales are expected to increase by to over three million vehicles by the end of 2022. These numbers include battery electric vehicle (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV).

The largest increase will be in China, which is expected to boost its EV sales from 579,000 in 2017 to one and a half million by 2022. Current government policies and subsidies are making China a lucrative market for industry investments. Key EV makers in China include BYD, BAIC, ZOYTE, Geely, and Chery.

This growth in EV demand will drive increased demand for lithium, with consumption of lithium by the battery sector to more than double from 26.7kt in 2018 to 58.3kt in 2022, equal to almost 60% of total lithium demand.

Top five countries EV sales forecast, 2018–2022 and lithium demand by end-use

Source: GlobalData, Mining Intelligence Center                                                                          © GlobalData