Global battery arms race: 200 gigafactories; China leads

The global battery arms race has stepped up a gear in 2021 with Benchmark Mineral Intelligence now tracking 200 super-sized lithium ion battery cell plants in the pipeline to 2030.

Chinese automaker Geely announced plans in March for a new 42 GWh cell base in Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province in China and is officially listed as Benchmark’s 200th entry into our Lithium Ion Battery Megafactory Assessment – a monthly subscription service.

This also brings the total capacity in the pipeline for 2030 to 3.4TWh, which is set to increase from 755 GWh of global capacity in 2020.

The global battery arms race continued to heat up elsewhere this month as VW committed to a vertical integration strategy with a total six 40 GWh cell plants in Europe alone and announced sweeping cell format changes.

While European and North American pipelines have begun to increase substantially over the past 12 months, China remains by far the most aggressive country in building lithium ion cell production capacity to support its electric vehicle and energy storage industries.

In 2021, 148 of the world’s 200 lithium ion battery megafactories in the pipeline are located in China, whereas Europe and North America have only 21 and 11 megafactories in the pipeline.

It is important to note that this is not just a battery-powered, speculative gold rush as over half this pipeline – 122 plants – are already operational, with many of these ramping up production.

Benchmark forecasts that 77% of global lithium ion production capacity will be located in China by the end of 2021. Based on current plans in the pipeline, China will still hold 67% of global lithium ion cell capacity in 2030.

Subscribe to Benchmark’s lithium ion supply chain market assessments

Benchmark has been tracking the build out of large scale (>1GWh) battery production facilities since 2015. We were initially tracking 8 plants in the pipeline, but this rapidly grew as electrification plans expanded.  

We were the first in the industry to track these developments and we maintain the most detailed dataset of actionable intelligence for the energy storage revolution.

Benchmark maintains similar datasets for anode and cathode production, as well as forecasting services for this full supply chain.

Fill in the form below to learn more about Benchmark’s lithium ion battery supply chain market assessments and forecasts, including:

  • Benchmark Lithium ion Battery Megafactory Assessment
  • Benchmark Anode Market Assessment
  • Benchmark Cathode Market Assessment
  • Benchmark Lithium ion Battery Database