Materials for Electric Vehicle Battery Cells and Packs 2021-2031: IDTechEx

Electric vehicle battery materials market to reach $52 billion by 2031

Materials for Electric Vehicle Battery Cells and Packs 2021-2031

Material requirements for electric vehicle lithium-ion battery cells and packs. Battery cell and pack energy density, material demand trends, OEM strategies and granular market forecasts for light- and heavy-duty vehicles.

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The lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles (EVs) present very different material demands at the cell- and pack-level compared with the internal-combustion engine (ICE) vehicles they replace. Whilst ICE drivetrains heavily rely on aluminium and steel alloys, Li-ion batteries utilise a great deal of materials such as nickel, cobalt, lithium, copper, insulation, thermal interface materials and much more at a cell- and pack-level. The markets for these materials will see a rapid increase in demand that would not have been present without the take-off of electric vehicle markets.
This new report from IDTechEx identifies and analyses trends in the materials used for the assembly and production of battery cells and battery packs in the EV market. The report also provides granular market forecasts from 2021-2031 for over 20 key material categories in terms of demand in tonnes, in addition to market value.
An extensive database, collated by IDTechEx, of over 300 battery-electric and plug-in hybrid passenger car variants, is further used to determine trends in the battery cell and pack energy density, energy capacity, cell geometry, cell chemistry and thermal management strategy, leading to a comprehensive set of material demands and market value forecasts.
IDTechEx forecasts over 20 materials used in the construction of electric vehicle battery cells and packs, each with shifting market shares. Several materials see a rapid increase in market share whilst others are being reduced to improve energy density or supply chain concerns. Source: IDTechEx report, Materials for Electric Vehicles Battery Cells and Packs 2021-2031.
Battery Cell Materials
OEMs are changing the way they make batteries. Improvements to energy density are one key consideration but also the sustainability of the materials used. Many materials involved have questionable mining practices or volatile supply chains. One such material is Cobalt, which in addition to being very expensive, has its supply and mining confined mostly to China and the Democratic Republic of Congo. As a result, OEMs are trending towards higher nickel cathode chemistries like NMC 622 or NMC 811 in some new models.
Up until 2018, the Chinese electric car market was predominately using LFP cathodes. This has now transitioned such that as of 2019 only 3 % of cars utilised LFP batteries. However, Tesla has now introduced the LFP Model 3 made in China which could upset this trend. Additionally, LFP is used extensively for markets like Chinese electric buses. Despite the reduction in market share of materials like cobalt, the rapidly increasing market for electric vehicles will drive demand for cobalt and many other materials drastically higher over the next 10 years.
Materials forecast for battery cells include aluminium, carbon black, casings, cobalt, copper, graphite, iron, lithium, manganese, nickel, silicon and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF).
Battery Pack Materials
Whilst the energy density improvements of Li-ion cells might be the most prominent battery improvements in the public eye, we are also seeing an increase in pack-level energy density at a greater rate than just cell-level improvements. Manufacturers are improving their battery designs, the mass of materials being used around the cells is steadily being reduced, allowing for a lighter battery pack or more cells to be used for the same mass. The choice of materials for several pack components also affects these improvements. More interest is being paid to composite enclosures for light-weighting, fire-retardant materials, thermal interface materials and much more. The thermal management strategy also impacts these choices, with increased energy density and consumer demand for fast charging, the thermal management must be more effective, but also present a smaller and lighter package. Several materials see a decrease in utilisation per vehicle, but this is often overshadowed by the rapidly growing market for EVs.
Battery pack materials forecasted include aluminium, copper, thermal management materials, thermal interface materials, steel, glass fibre reinforced polymers, carbon fibre reinforced polymers, inter-cell insulation, compression foams and housings and pack fire-retardant materials.
IDTechEx considered over 160 battery-electric and plug-in hybrid cars sold between 2015-2020 to show trends in energy density by thermal management strategy and by year. Full data available in IDTechEx report, Materials for Electric Vehicle Battery Cells and Packs 2021-2031.
Report Summary
Materials demand from the following EV components and parts are considered:
  • Battery Cells:
• Cathodes
• Anodes
• Electrolyte, separators, binders and casings
  • Battery Packs:
• Interconnects
• Housings
• Thermal management
• Thermal interface materials
• Inter-cell pads and insulation
• Fire-retardant papers/blankets/coatings
Market assessments:
  • Trends in battery cell composition and energy density: cathodes, anodes, electrolyte, binders and casings
  • Battery cell and pack design with automotive use cases and energy density breakdowns by cell type and thermal management strategy
  • Thermal interface materials for electric vehicle batteries
  • Battery pack enclosure and interconnect materials
Forecast lines, material demand and market value (2021-2031):
  • Cathode materials
  • Anode materials
  • Battery cell materials
  • Thermal interface materials
  • Battery pack materials
  • Combined cell and pack materials
Vehicle segments forecast:
  • Cars
  • Buses
  • Vans
  • Trucks
  • Two-wheelers
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Table of Contents
1.1.Battery Materials for Electric Vehicles
1.2.Materials Considered in this Report
1.3.Electric Vehicle Forecast
1.4.Cathode Chemistry Changes: Nickel up Cobalt down
1.5.Cell vs Pack Energy Density
1.6.Battery Pack Components
1.7.Total Material Requirements for EV Batteries
1.8.Battery Materials Market Value
1.9.Total Material Requirements for EV Batteries
2.1.Electric Vehicle Terms
2.2.Electric Vehicles: Basic Principle
2.3.Drivetrain Specifications
2.4.Battery Materials for Electric Vehicles
2.5.Materials Considered in this Report
3.1.Li-ion Battery Chemistry
3.1.1.What is a Li-ion Battery?
3.1.2.Why Lithium?
3.1.3.Li-ion Cathode Overview
3.1.4.Li-ion Anode Overview
3.1.5.Cathode Chemistry Changes: Nickel up Cobalt down
3.1.6.Changing Too Fast?
3.2.Cell Costs and Energy Density
3.2.1.Drivers for High-Nickel Cathodes
3.2.2.EV Models with NMC 811 Commercialisation Examples
3.2.4.Cell Energy Density Timeline
3.2.5.Energy Density of Li-ion Cathodes
3.3.Materials for Li-ion Batteries
3.3.1.Potential for Raw Material Shortage
3.3.2.Sustainability of Li-ion Materials
3.3.3.Questionable Mining Practice
3.3.4.Drivers and Restraints
3.3.5.Li-ion Raw Materials in Perspective
3.3.6.How Does Material Intensity Change?
3.3.7.Inactive Material Intensities (exc. casings)
3.4.Raw Materials
3.4.1.The Elements Used in Li-ion Batteries
3.4.2.The Li-ion Supply Chain
3.4.3.Demand for Li-ion is Shifting
3.4.4.Raw Materials Critical to Li-ion
3.4.5.Li-ion Raw Material Geographical Distribution
3.5.1.Lithium Introduction
3.5.2.Where is Lithium Located?
3.5.3.Lithium Extraction from Brines
3.5.4.Lithium Extraction from Hard Rock
3.5.5.Lithium Producers
3.5.6.Lithium End Uses
3.5.7.Forecasted Lithium Demand
3.6.1.Introduction to Cobalt
3.6.2.Cobalt in the DRC
3.6.3.Questionable Mining Practice
3.6.4.Cobalt Supply
3.6.5.Cobalt Price Trend
3.6.6.Public Scrutiny of Cobalt Supply
3.6.7.Changing Intensity of Cobalt in Li-ion
3.6.8.Forecasted Cobalt Demand
3.7.1.An Overview of Nickel
3.7.2.Geographic Breakdown of Nickel Mining
3.7.3.Nickel: Supply Shortage?
3.7.4.Forecast Nickel Demand
4.1.1.Cathode Material Intensities
4.1.2.Geographical Breakdown of Cathode Production
4.1.3.Chemistry Production Spread
4.1.4.NMC Development: from 111 to 811
4.1.5.Outlook - Which Cathodes Will Be Used?
4.1.6.Cathode Demand Forecast
4.1.7.Cathode Demand Forecast
4.1.8.Price Assumptions
4.1.9.Cathode Material Market Value
4.2.1.Introduction to Graphite
4.2.2.Natural or Synthetic in LIB?
4.2.3.Natural Graphite for LIBs
4.2.4.Natural Graphite Mining
4.2.5.Where Will New Capacity Come From?
4.2.6.Graphite Anode Suppliers
4.2.7.Forecast Graphite Demand
4.2.8.Introduction to Silicon Anodes
4.2.9.Benefits from Incorporating Silicon
4.2.10.Electrode Material Trends
4.2.11.How Much Does Silicon Improve Energy Density?
4.2.12.Anode Demand Forecast
4.2.13.Anode Material Prices
4.2.14.Anode Market Value Forecast
4.3.Electrolyte, Separators, Binders and Casings
4.3.1.What is in a Cell?
4.3.2.Li-ion Electrolytes
4.3.4.Polyolefin Separator
4.3.6.Binders - Aqueous vs Non-aqueous
4.3.7.Carbon Nanotubes in Li-ion Batteries
4.3.8.Why Use Nanocarbons?
4.4.Total Battery Cell Materials Forecast
4.4.1.Battery Cell Materials Forecast
4.4.2.Battery Cell Materials Market Value Forecast
5.1.Panasonic and Tesla
5.2.Can Li-ion Supply Meet Demand?
5.3.How Long to Build a Gigafactory?
5.4.Gigafactory Investment in Europe
5.5.Chinese EV Battery Value Chain
5.6.The Price of Li-ion Cells
5.7.Bottom-up Cell Cost Analysis
5.8.Considering the Cost of NMC 811
5.9.Commodity Price Volatility
5.10.Cars - Li-ion Cell and Pack Price Assumptions 2020-2031
5.11.BEV Cell Price Forecast
5.12.OEM Views on Battery Prices
5.13.Li-ion Batteries
5.14.Battery Cell and Pack Design
5.15.More Than One Type of Cell Design
5.16.Cell Format Considerations
5.17.Which Cell Format to Choose?
5.18.Comparison of Commercial Cell Formats
5.19.Differences Between Cell, Module and Pack
5.20.Stacking Methods
5.21.Automotive Format Choices
5.22.Passenger Car Market
5.23.Other Vehicle Categories
5.24.Henkel's Battery Pack Materials
5.25.DuPont's Battery Pack Materials
6.1.Thermal Interface Materials for Lithium-ion Battery Packs
6.1.1.Introduction to Thermal Interface Materials (TIM)
6.1.2.Overview of TIM by Type
6.1.3.Thermal Management - Pack and Module Overview
6.1.4.Thermal Interface Material (TIM) - Pack and Module Overview
6.1.5.Gap Pads in EV Batteries
6.1.6.Switching to Gap Fillers Rather than Pads
6.1.7.EV Use-Case Examples
6.1.8.Battery Pack TIM - Options and Market Comparison
6.1.9.The Silicone Dilemma for the Automotive Industry
6.1.10.The Big 5 in Silicone
6.1.11.TIM: Silicone Alternatives
6.1.12.TIM: the Conductive Players
6.1.13.Notable Acquisitions for TIM Players
6.1.14.TIM for Electric Vehicle Battery Packs - Trends
6.1.15.TIM for EV Battery Packs - Forecast by Category
6.1.16.TIM for EV Battery Packs - Forecast by TIM Type
6.1.17.Thermal Management for Electric Vehicles
6.1.18.Thermal Interface Materials
6.2.Battery Enclosures
6.2.1.Lightweighting Battery Enclosures
6.2.2.From Steel to Aluminium
6.2.3.Latest Composite Battery Enclosures
6.2.4.Alternatives to Phenolic Resins
6.2.5.Are Polymers Suitable Housings?
6.2.6.Towards Composite Enclosures?
6.2.7.Continental Structural Plastics - Honeycomb Technology
6.2.8.Battery Enclosure Materials Summary
6.2.9.Cost Effectiveness of a CFRP Enclosure
6.2.10.Extra Reinforcement Needed?
6.2.11.EMI Shielding for Composite Enclosures
6.3.Pack Fire Safety
6.3.1.What Level of Prevention?
6.3.2.Module and Pack Thermal Insulation Materials
6.3.3.Pack Level Prevention Materials
6.3.4.Emerging Fire Safety Solutions
6.3.5.Aspen Aerogels US OEM Contract
6.3.6.Fire Resistant Coatings from 2020
6.4.Inter-Cell Components
6.4.1.Inter-Cell Components
6.4.2.Insulation Materials Comparison
6.4.3.Inter-Cell Materials: Cylindrical Cells
6.4.4.Inter-Cell Materials: Tesla Model 3/Y
6.4.5.Cylindrical Cell Mass Assembly
6.4.6.Superbike Battery Holder
6.4.7.Emerging Routes - Phase Change Materials (PCMs)
6.4.8.Inter-Cell Materials: Prismatic Cells
6.4.9.Inter-Cell Materials: Pouch Cells
6.4.10.Insulating Cell-to-Cell Foams
6.4.11.Polyurethane Compression Pads
6.4.12.Graphite Heat Spreaders
6.5.Structural Batteries and Eliminating the Module
6.5.1.Tesla Eliminating the Battery Module
6.5.2.GM Ultium Battery
6.5.3.Ultium BMS
6.5.4.LG Chem Doing Away with Modules
6.5.5.BYD Blade
6.5.6.CATL Cell to Pack
6.5.7.Will the Module Be Eliminated?
6.6.Automotive Use Cases
6.7.Battery Pack Design
6.7.1.Lack of Standardisation in Terms of Battery Packs
6.7.2.Audi e-tron
6.7.3.BMW i3
6.7.4.Chevrolet Bolt
6.7.5.Hyundai Kona
6.7.6.Jaguar I-PACE
6.7.7.Tesla Model S P85D
6.7.8.Tesla Model 3/Y
6.7.9.OEM Pack Design Summary
6.7.10.Passenger Cars: Pack Energy Density
6.7.11.Passenger Cars: Pack Energy Density Trends
6.7.12.Cell vs Pack Energy Density
6.7.13.Energy Density Forecast
6.8.Electrical Interconnects
6.8.1.Copper and Aluminium Content in Battery Interconnections
6.8.2.Tesla Model S P85D: Cylindrical Cell Connection
6.8.3.Tesla Model S P85D: Inter-module Connection
6.8.4.Tesla Model S P85D: Copper Content in HV 2/0 Cable
6.8.5.Tesla Model S P85D: BMS Wiring
6.8.6.Tesla Model S P85D Summary: Battery Interconnects
6.8.7.Nissan Leaf 24 kWh: Pouch Cell Connection
6.8.8.Nissan Leaf 24 kWh: Module Layout
6.8.9.Nissan Leaf 24 kWh: Module Interconnection Busbars
6.8.10.Nissan Leaf 24 kWh: High Voltage Cables and BMS Wiring
6.8.11.Nissan Leaf 24 kWh Summary: Battery Interconnects
6.8.12.BMW i3 94Ah: Prismatic Cell Connection
6.8.13.BMW i3 94Ah: Inter-module Cables and BMS Wirings
6.8.14.BMW i3 94Ah Summary: Battery Interconnects
6.8.15.Summary of Materials in Battery Interconnects
6.9.Battery Pack Materials
6.9.1.Battery Pack Components
6.9.2.Battery Pack Materials excl. Cells
6.9.3.Battery Pack Materials Forecast
6.9.4.Battery Pack Materials Prices
6.9.5.Battery Pack Materials Forecast
7.1.Total Material Requirements for EV Batteries
7.2.Battery Materials Market Value
7.3.Total Material Requirements for EV Batteries
8.1.Cathode Demand Forecast
8.2.Price Assumptions
8.3.Cathode Material Market Value
8.4.Anode Demand Forecast
8.5.Anode Material Prices
8.6.Anode Market Value Forecast
8.7.Battery Cell Materials Forecast
8.8.Battery Cell Materials Market Value Forecast
8.9.TIM for EV Battery Packs - Forecast by Category
8.10.TIM for EV Battery Packs - Forecast by TIM Type
8.11.Battery Pack Materials Forecast
8.12.Battery Pack Materials Prices
8.13.Battery Pack Materials Forecast
8.14.Total Material Requirements for EV Batteries
8.15.Battery Materials Market Value
8.16.Total Material Requirements for EV Batteries
8.17.Electric Vehicle Battery Capacity Assumptions
8.18.Electric Vehicle Forecast Assumptions
8.19.Electric Vehicle Forecast
8.20.EV Materials Forecast: Methodology & Assumptions
8.21.Impact of COVID-19 on Forecasts

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