Despite seasonal influences, MINING.COM’s EV Metal Index reached a new monthly milestone in June, rising 36% over the previous month to surpass December 2020’s prior high. EV Metal Index, which analyses the value of the battery metals in recently registered passenger EVs (such as hybrids) around the world, rose 237 percent to $649.2 million in June, bringing the year-to-date total to $2.68 billion.
This means that in the first half of 2021, more Electric Vehicle battery metal business was transacted than in the entire year of 2020, which was already a record year. As per Adamas Intelligence, which measures EV battery demand by cell supplier, chemistry and capacity in more than 100 countries, the total battery performance of EVs shipped in June was up 160 percent year on year to about 26.3 GWh.
The monthly battery capacity installed numbers in MINING.COM EV Metal Index doesn’t include the automobiles leaving manufacturing lines, those on the dealership lots, or even in wholesale supply chain, just end-user registered vehicles, in order to generate the most accurate data.
According to Adamas, in June 2021, a total of over 15,800 tonnes of the lithium carbonate equivalent were deployed onto roads worldwide in the batteries of all the newly-sold passenger EVs. In June, the average lithium per car, including hybrids, increased by 30% year over year, rising from 14kg to a little over 18kg.
According to Adama’s data, carbonate made up 47 percent of the total, while hydroxide made up 53%, with the latter being preferred in the construction of the high-nickel content batteries. According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, which is a researcher of battery supply chain as well as price reporting service, lithium prices have skyrocketed year to date and are currently above $16,500 per tonne.
This boosted the lithium subindex by 35% in May, reaching a new monthly high of just under $200 million. Lithium now accounts for slightly over 30% of the whole index value, up from 20 percent in August last year. This is when prices were hovering around $7,000 per tonne for several months.
When compared to the very same month last year, cobalt and nickel deployment increased by more than 110 percent. When compared to the very same month last year, nickel consumption has climbed by 9%, while cobalt use has increased by 6%.
Nickel prices on the LME have risen and are approaching $20,000 per tonne, while nickel trade in Shanghai touched an all-time high of 149,870 yuan ($23,200) per tonne on Tuesday. Benchmark’s index price for the cobalt utilized in a battery supply chain has risen to comfortably beyond $50,000 per tonne in the last year, compared to the low $30,000s this time last year.
After having to spend the whole of 2020 under $700 and touching a low of about $644 in September, graphite prices have remained stable at roughly $720 per tonne in 2021. In early 2012, anode material prices reached a high of almost $1,500 per tonne.