By 2025, China could control a third of the global lithium market.Click here for details

China is undoubtedly the biggest player in the field of new energy vehicles, especially lithium-powered electric vehicles. China will account for nearly a third of the world’s supply of the precious metal by 2025, as China strives to ramp up lithium mining, according to a Bloomberg report citing UBS Group AG forecasts.

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Updated on:
March 13, 2023 at 15:13 pm

Aerial view showing the brine pools and processing area of ​​the Soquimich (SQM) lithium mine on the Atacama Salt Flats in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile,

In 2022, the number of new plug-in passenger car registrations in China will exceed 5.92 million, a surge of 83% compared with the sales of domestic new energy vehicles in 2021. Among the 5.92 million new energy vehicles, the sales volume of pure electric pure electric vehicles is about 4.35 million, accounting for 22% of the total sales of new energy vehicles, and the sales volume of plug-in hybrid vehicles is 1.58 million, accounting for 8%. This marks an impressive 30% of the country’s total passenger car sales in 2022.

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In January, the number of new energy vehicles registered in China hit a record high. Some 343,691 new passenger plug-in electric vehicles were registered in the country in the first month of this year, a negative result and a drop of 8% compared to the same month last year. With such a large EV sales volume, China leads the world in both EV sales and lithium battery demand, driving the growth of China’s lithium-ion battery manufacturing industry.

China not only produces lithium-ion electric vehicle batteries for domestic market demand, but also exports to global markets including India. Clearly, China is aiming to dominate a market with huge growth potential in the coming years, with a focus on electric vehicles.

Chinese-controlled mines, including projects in Africa, are expected to boost lithium production to 705,000 tonnes by 2025 from 194,000 tonnes in 2022, according to reports. This will eventually increase China’s share of the global lithium market from 24% to 32%. % recorded in 2022.

Lithium is the most important mineral for electric vehicles, which are at the forefront of the transformation of mobility technology. As a result, the race for lithium is getting fiercer. As the world moves away from fossil fuels, several countries, including the United States, have prioritized access to the precious material needed to make electric vehicle batteries. As the world’s largest new energy vehicle market, China aims to occupy the largest market share.

Interestingly, although China is the world’s largest producer of new energy vehicles, it only accounts for a small portion of global lithium reserves. As a result, like many other fundamental commodities of the modern economy, China is overly reliant on foreign supplies of lithium for the often world-leading production of electric vehicle batteries. Eyeing on the target of lithium supply chain monopoly, China is now keen to salvage lithium mines within its borders and ramp up mining in other countries where Chinese companies own mines.

First published date: March 13, 2023 at 15:13 PM CST

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