China dominates lithium-ion battery exports

China dominated lithium-ion battery exports in 2022, reaching a 50.9% share of total external sales of these products on a global scale.

Just in 2018, Chinese exports of lithium-ion batteries were $10.822 billion.

But in 2022, the amount increased to $50,919 million, a year-on-year increase of 79 percent.

Earlier, Chinese exports of lithium-ion batteries grew at annual rates of 20 percent in 2019, 22 percent in 2020 and 21 percent in 2021.

The response to the climate change crisis is accelerating demand for electric vehicles, renewable energy storage and infrastructure.

To manufacture battery cells, gigafactories will need essential metals such as nickel, cobalt, manganese and copper to meet the growing demand for batteries.

The U.S. government has maintained its goal of selling 50% of electric vehicles by 2030, which has prompted an increase in commitments for battery gigafactories, as well as the release of the Strategic Priorities for Ocean Exploration and Characterization of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, which outlines federal priorities for ocean exploration and characterization of critical minerals in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.

Lithium-ion batteries

Globally, the number of signatories to the Zero Emission Vehicle declaration announced at COP26 in October 2021 increased to 214, which aims to accelerate the transition to 100% of new car sales being zero emission globally by 2040, and by 2035 in leading markets.

According to World Trade Organization (WTO) data, other major exporters of lithium-ion batteries in 2022 were Poland ($8,597 million), South Korea ($7,341 million), Hungary ($7,041 million) and Germany ($5,503 million).

China’s share of global lithium-ion battery exports in 2018 was 36.5 percent

Currently, according to Aqua Metals, between 5 and 7 percent of lithium-ion batteries are recycled and that figure needs to approach 100 percent both to avoid environmental problems and to recover critical minerals in those spent batteries to fuel the massive demand growth curve.


Redacción Opportimes

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