EV battery arms race enters new gear with 115 megafactories, Europe sees most rapid growth

  • Benchmark launches Battery Megafactories Europe 2020 Conference, 17-18 June 2020, Berlin, Germany
  • Europe’s planned lithium ion cell battery capacity surges in 2019 to 348GWh
  • China continues to dominate adding 564GWh by 2028
  • Total lithium ion battery capacity in pipeline equals 39m EVs by 2029

The world has entered a new gear in the global battery arms race in new data released by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.

The number of lithium ion battery megafactories in the pipeline has reached 115, according to Benchmark Minerals’ Lithium ion Battery Megafactory December 2019 Assessment.

This is a significant increase on December 2018’s assessment of 63 electric vehicle (EV) battery plants, colloquially know as megafactories (a term created by Benchmark) or gigafactories (a brand name created by Tesla), in the pipeline.

Europe has surged ahead in planned lithium ion battery capacity for its EV industry in a year which saw global historical highs for pipeline gains to 2029.

Europe’s planned lithium ion battery capacity increase was led by new plants in Germany including CATL in Erfurt, Farasis in Saxony-Anhalt, Northvolt and Volkswagen Group (VW) in Salzgitter, and most recently, Tesla’s Gigafactory 4 in Berlin.

Combined, these battery megafactories increased Germany’s pipeline capacity over the next decade by 432% to 133GWh and Europe’s to 348GWh.

This marked the emergence of a mass EV battery production blueprint being built on the continent.

China remains the battery powerhouse 

Despite China’s growth rate being less impressive, the world’s leading EV and battery manufacturer added a huge 564GWh of pipeline capacity in 2019 to a global total of 2068.3GWh or the equivalent of 40m EVs by 2028.

China accounted for 69% of this total capacity while Europe increased its share to 17% yet North America lagged behind at 8%, despite new plants from Korean manufacturer, SK Innovation, Chinese producer, Farasis, and expected expansions at Tesla and LG Chem.

This means China is now home to 88 of 115 lithium ion battery megafactories in the pipeline to 2029, according to Benchmark Minerals’ Lithium ion Battery Megafactory Assessment service.

“There is little doubt that the global trend of 2019 is Europe stepping up its role in the global battery arms race,” Caspar Rawles, Head of Price Assessments at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence explained.

“While China remains the powerhouse, there are major concerns from Europe’s automotive industry over availability of high quality, tier one lithium ion battery cells at a mass scale as a major blocker to EV acceleration,” he added.

The World’s Lithium ion Battery Capacity in 2029

Source: Lithium ion Battery Megafactory Assessment December 2019 Benchmark Mineral Intelligence

(Note data changes on a monthly basis, to subscribe or trial to our extensive database and analysis request “Battery Megafactories” here

Benchmark launches Battery Megafactories Europe 2020, 17-18 June, Berlin

With Europe now hosting plans for 14 battery megafactories with a cumulative total of 369GWh cell capacity by 2029, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence will launch the continent’s first commercial conference on this specific subject.

Battery Megafactories Europe 2020 will be the first ever event to specialise in mass scale commercialisation of lithium ion batteries and their supply chains on the continent,” Simon Moores, Managing Director, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence explained.

“Not only is speed and scale of the essence for the European EV revolution to take hold, but quality and sustainability are crucial to every link in the chain, from lithium and cobalt mining through to the battery cell.”

“As we have done in the US, this Benchmark Mineral Intelligence conference will bring the industrial and political communities together to solve the biggest supply chain challenges that we face,” Moores added.

Battery Megafactories Europe 2020 will hear from the major cell manufacturers building capacity on the continent, the consuming automotive OEMs, and every link in the mid-stream from lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel and manganese through to the cathodes and anodes.

It will be a private event for industry participants and government and will not be open to media.

Join us at Battery Megafactories Europe 2020, 17-18 June, Berlin, Germany here:

Where will Europe’s Battery Megafactories be located in 2029?

(Lithium ion battery plants >5GWh/year capacity)

Source: Lithium ion Battery Megafactory Assessment December 2019 Benchmark Mineral Intelligence

(Note data changes on a monthly basis, to subscribe or trial to our extensive database and analysis request “Battery Megafactories” here

Who had the world’s biggest battery plant in 2019 (GWh)?

Source: Lithium ion Battery Megafactory Assessment December 2019 Benchmark Mineral Intelligence

(Note data changes on a monthly basis, to subscribe or trial to our extensive database and analysis request “Battery Megafactories” here

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