Lithium Ion Batteries

Lithium Ion Batteries

The anode in Li ion batteries (LiBs”) is made out of graphite. A graphite anode is one of the things that make it a LiB and there are no substitutes. LiBs are smaller, lighter and more powerful than traditional batteries and have a flat voltage profile meaning they provide almost full power until discharged. They also have no memory effect and a very low rate of discharge when not in use. Almost all portable consumer devices such as laptops, cell phones, MP3 players and cameras use Li ion batteries and they are now rapidly moving into power tools. While the batteries are small, the markets are large and growing rapidly regardless of general economic conditions. Annual growth is estimated at 20%+ and total graphite demand is approaching 150,000tpa which is approximately 25 per cent of the flake market.

Growth in the use of hybrid electric vehicles (“HEV”), plug in electric vehicles (“PEV”) and all electric vehicles (“EV”) is still at a very early stage but has huge implications for the LiB market. The batteries are large and the potential demand for graphite very significant. Grid storage and the replacement of lead starter batteries are two other very large, emerging markets for LiBs. While this has created a great deal of excitement in the lithium industry, the investment community is only now beginning to focus on other materials used in LiBs and by weight, graphite is the second largest component. In fact, there is 10-15 times more graphite than lithium, in an LiB and because of losses in the manufacturing process, it actually takes 30 times as much graphite to make the batteries.

There is up to 10 kgs of graphite in the average HEV and up to 70 kgs in an EV. There is far more in a Tesla Model S. Every million EVs, which is about 1.5% of the new car market, require in the order of 100,000 tonnes of graphite to make the batteries which represents a potential 15 per cent increase in flake graphite demand. Because of the small size of the flake graphite market, even modest, conservation EV adoption rates will have a big effect on demand. Annual flake graphite production will have to double if EVs became even 5% of the new car market. China alone plans on having five million EVs by 2020.

The anode material used in LiBs, called spherical graphite (“SPG”), is manufactured from flake graphite concentrates produced by graphite mines. Only flake graphite which can be economically rounded and upgraded to 99.95% purity can be used. The manufacturing process includes micronization, rounding, purification and heat treatment. The process is expensive and wastes up to 70% of the flake graphite feed. As a result, uncoated spherical graphite currently sells for up to USD3,00/tonne or over three times the price of large flake graphite. Coated spherical graphite sells for USD4,000 to 12,000 per tonne depending on quality and end market.

Almost all Li ion battery manufacturing currently takes place in Asia because of the ready availability of graphite, weak environmental standards and low costs. Secure, cost competitive and environmentally sustainable source of graphite are needed in the west.

Links:
About Spherical Graphite

Green Car Congress

Lithium Ion Battery

Battery Electric Vehicle

Articles:
Volkswagen Group new Roadmap– September, 2017

CATL to Start Gigafactory– September, 2017

VW Unveils $60 billion Battery Investment Plan– September, 2017

Giant Trucks and Buses Smash Electric Vehicle Records– September, 2017

Chinese Battery Production Could Leave Tesla in the Dust – July, 2017

Mercedes-Benz heads to China to build $740M EV battery factory – July, 2017

10 Battery Gigafactories Are Now in the Works and Elon Musk May Add 4 More – July, 2017

China Is About to Bury Elon Musk in Batteries – June, 2017

China’s new energy vehicle sales surge in May – June, 2017

Honda to focus on PHEVs, EVs and fuel cell vehicles to electrify 2/3 of sales by 2030 – June, 2017

Storage’s time ‘is coming’ as prices fall – June, 2017

Daimler begins construction on a $562 million lithium-ion battery factory in Germany – May, 2017

GM plans to launch 10 electric cars in China by 2020 – April, 2017

LG Chem Launches Range of Residential Battery Systems in NA – April, 2017

Batteries at heart of UK electricity supply transformation – March, 2017

China’s anti-Teslas: cheap models drive electric car boom – Jan, 2017

China threat sparks Hitachi’s four-fold graphite anode expansion – Dec., 2016

Tesla aims to sustain purity of car batteries, but can any company be sure? – Dec., 2016

Chinese Electric Car Battery Maker Charges for Global Market – Dec, 2016

35 States to Boost Electric Vehicle Charging Stations – Nov, 2016

Mercedes Benz Launches US Energy Storage Company – Nov, 2016

Daimler Adds to its Battery Capability – Oct, 2016

Chinese lead player Sacred Sun puts big money into lithium – Oct, 2016

Production of Lithium Starter Batteries to Commence – Sept, 2016

Firm attempts to usurp lead with LiFePO4 starter batteries – Sept, 2016

What Lies Ahead for Lithium Ion – July, 2016

ABB Sells First Order for 15-Second Bus Charging – July, 2016

US to create nationwide network of EV charging stations – July, 2016

Germany set to stamp out fossil fuel powered car manufacturing by 2030 – July, 2016

Growing lithium trend threatens to usurp lead-acid – July, 2016

China receives 80% of industry investment as it triples lithium-ion production – May, 2016

Large lithium-ion battery demand will drive shortage as e-vehicles and ESS popularity grows – May, 2016

Lithium-air still a decade away from usurping lithium-ion – May, 2016

Graphite demand from lithium ion batteries to more than treble in 4 years – May, 2016

Global plug-in light vehicle sales increased by about 80% in 2015 – July, 2016

Top EV Battery Producers – March, 2016

NiMH ‘will not feature in future EVs – April, 2016

Battery researcher partnered with Tesla to receive Governor-General’s Innovation Award – April, 2016

Lithium-ion production fell massively short – April, 2016

Lead acid: no longer challenged but threatened by li ion – April, 2016

Chinese lead-acid firms embrace lithium with a vengeance – April, 2016

Here’s How Electric Cars Will Cause the Next Oil Crisis – March, 2016

US energy storage up 243% as utilities embrace lithium-ion battery power – February, 2016

Electric cars no longer held back by crappy, expensive batteries – February, 2016

China to install thousands of EV charging stations – February, 2016

Game Change: Tesla And GM Announce Affordable, Long-Range Electric Cars – February, 2016

Samsung Invests $2.51 Billion into Car Battery Business – February, 2016

E-bikes poised to grow to 2 billion – January, 2016

Bosch lithium-ion battery to replace lead-acid – January, 2016

TDK invests £841m to double lithium-ion operations in China – January, 2016

EV market to drive lithium-ion battery prices down – December, 2015

The Nordic EV-stock surpasses 85.000 in Q3 of 2015 – November, 2015

BMW i expanding Fast Charge program; 500 more fast chargers in US – November, 2015

Chinese lead-acid battery industry failing due to LiB Competition – November, 2015

Hyundai launching new brand of electrified vehicles: hybrid first, then PHEV and EV – November, 2015

London’s Black Cabs to be 100% Electric from 2018 – October, 2015

BYD to raise $2.4billion to boost battery and EV growth – October, 2015

GM Announces Largest Lithium Battery Energy Storage Deal in its History – September, 2015

Investors Swarming Lithium Battery Market in China – September, 2015

Global market for automotive Li-ion batteries to hit $30.6 billion in 2024; almost 4x 2015 market – September, 2015

GE Signs Largest Battery Storage Deal to Date – August, 2015

China’s Li Ion Investment Projects – August, 2015

LG Chem Might Overtake EV Battery Leader Panasonic – August, 2015

LG Chem Secures EV Battery Deal – August, 2015

China’s Energy Storage Market to Double by 2025 – June, 2015

Daimler to Offer Energy Storage System – June, 2015

Largest North American LiB Transport Supply Contract – May, 2015

Google Joins the Next Generation Battery Race – April, 2015

Saft leads the way in lithium-ion energy storage for smart city and clean tech applications – April, 2015

Toyota wants hybrids to account for half of sales in Japan by next year – April, 2015

China Automaker BYD Sees Profits Jump On Stronger Electric Vehicle Demand – April, 2015

Virgin working on electric cars – April, 2015

A123 Systems introduces Li-ion 12V starter battery – April, 2015

Mercedes-Benz to introduce 10 plug-in hybrids by 2017 – March, 2015

Tesla Faces Threat from Buffet Backed BYD – March, 2015

Renault Samsung jump-starts electric taxi market with EV – March, 2015

German battery giant to quadruple production to 5GWh by 2020 – March, 2015

Apple has ‘several hundred’ employees working on Project Titan electric car – February, 2015

“German Gigafactory” Ground Broken On Europe’s Soon-To-Be-Largest Battery Factory – February, 2015

Briggs & Stratton Introduces Li-Ion Electric Starting – February, 2015

VW and BMW partner to create fast charging corridors – January, 2015

Nissan CEO – We will continue to lead the EV market – January, 2015

CCM forecasts 5-fold growth in China Li-ion market by 2017 to meet EV demand – January, 2015

Growing EV Demand in China Fuels Battery Investment – January, 2015

China speeds up EV infrastructure investment – December, 2014

ABB-led consortium launches $10.5M project to install fast chargers along key European highways – December, 2014

Renault-Nissan Alliance has sold 200,000 EVs worldwide – November 26, 2014

Indian Gov’t Plans $2.5 Billion Electric, Hybrid Vehicle Subsidy Program – July 7, 2014

10 Best Selling Electric Vehicles and Hybrids in 2014 – June 9, 2014

Will There Be Enough Batteries In The World For Electric Cars? – June 5, 2014

Green Batteries’ Graphite Adds to China Pollution – April 30, 2014

BYD Celebrates Production of First California-built Electric Bus – April 29, 2014

Competition to Preempt E-bike Battery Market Begins among Samsung SDI and LG Chem – April 7, 2014

Electric cars to drive $26 billion demand for lithium-ion batteries – April 7, 2014

Ford + GE = Big Electric Vehicle Charging Station Rollout – April 3, 2014

BYD’s Qin plug-in hybrid the best selling automotive EV in China – March 21, 2014

GM executive chief EV engineer says reducing costs of plug-in vehicles is a huge priority– March 17, 2014

Is Europe finally turning on to EVs? – February 14, 2014

IHS Automotive forecasts global production of plug-in vehicles to rise by 67% this year – February 4, 2014

Nissan has installed 1,000 CHAdeMO quick chargers in Europe – February 2, 2014

Samsung SDI to build electric car battery factory in China – January 23, 2014

Sales of Portable Power Batteries to Top $12.4 Billion – January 22, 2014

Nissan LEAF global sales reach 100,000 units – January 20, 2014

BestMag: Chinese e-bikes look to lithium – January 17, 2014

Lithium-ion battery demand to soar: Good news for lithium, great news for graphite – January 3, 2014

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV US Launch Delayed December 30, 2013

EU Parliament backs Mandatory EU Wide Rollout of Charging Stations December 9, 2013

Nissan and British Gas Launch UK’s Largest Electric Vehicle Pilot November 29, 2013

Samsung Biggest Beneficiary of BMW i3 Popularity November 26, 2014

Toshiba Supplying Energy Storage For Tohoku Electric November 25, 2013

Anderman report sees strongest growth for full-hybrid systems; Li-ion batteries for hybrids may be in short supply November 22, 2013

Norway’s electric car market speeds ahead November 18, 2013

Renault Kangoo van named “Electric vehicle of the year” has sold 11,000 units October 23, 2013

GM’s New Plans to Challange Tesla’s Electric Battery Brilliance September 18, 2013

Volkswagen Says It Will Bring Electric Vehicle to U.S. in Two Years September 17, 2013

Toyota broadly outlines next-generation Prius; developing wireless inductive charging for the plug-in model; bullish on hydrogen August 28, 2013

Exploring the adoption of EVs in the US, Europe and China; charging scenarios and infrastructure August 6, 2013

Toyota upping lithium-ion battery production for introduction to Prius family May 20, 2013

Continuous test operation begins for large-format Li-ion energy storage system at power plant July 11, 2013

40% Drop in EV Battery Prices from 2010-2012 June 8, 2013

Beijing invests heavily in electric vehicles May 9, 2013

BYD to build electric bus assembly plant April 3, 2013

Energy Storage Series: Making the Case for Batteries March 19, 2013

Charging Infrastructure Key to Expanding EV Market March 4, 2013

Global Growth in EV Sales Good for Lithium Battery Market February 18, 2013

A Fork in the Road to the Electric Future February 15, 2o13

Global Hybrid Electric and Electric Vehicle Lithium-ion Battery Market Estimated to Reach $12.84 Billion in 2019 February 13, 2013

Pike Research forecasts hybrids and plug-ins to grow to 4% of European market in 2020 January 2, 2013