Global Lithium-Ion Battery Metals Market 2021

Market Overview

The lithium-ion battery metals market witnessed significant growth in 2021, reaching a value of $14.54 billion. It is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.00% from 2022 to 2031, reaching $28.61 billion. This growth is driven by the increasing demand for Li-ion batteries in various industries such as automotive, consumer electronics, and energy storage systems.

In recent years, Li-ion batteries have experienced a surge in demand from the automotive industry, particularly in the electric vehicle (EV) segment. The International Energy Agency (IEA) highlights the rapid growth, stating that electric vehicle sales have reached record heights. The shift towards electric vehicles is motivated by factors such as rising carbon emissions, higher fossil fuel prices, the development of EV-charging infrastructure, and supportive government initiatives worldwide. Major automotive companies, including General Motors, Volvo, Ford, Volkswagen, and Audi, have announced plans to transition away from internal combustion engine vehicles, further propelling the demand for Li-ion batteries. For instance, Bentley intends to have all its vehicles as plug-in hybrids by 2026 and fully electric by 2030.

Product Type

Market Report

No. of Pages


Release Date


Base Year


Forecast Period


Market Size

USD 14.5 billion in 2020

Market Segments

End-Use Application, Constituent Metal, Cell Chemistry, Region



No. of Companies Mentioned


The invention of lithium-ion batteries can be attributed to the work of John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino during the 1970s. Whittingham began developing a rechargeable battery during the oil crisis, experimenting with titanium disulfide and lithium metal electrodes. Goodenough later replaced titanium disulfide with lithium-cobalt-oxide (LCO), doubling the battery’s energy potential. Finally, Yoshino used petroleum coke as an anode in Goodenough’s LCO battery, resulting in the first lithium-ion battery prototype. In recognition of their contributions, the three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2019.

The growth of the lithium-ion battery metals market is closely tied to the automotive and consumer electronics industries. The increasing demand for electric vehicles and consumer electronics products such as laptops, mobile phones, and IoT devices fuels the demand for Li-ion batteries globally. Additionally, the adoption of Li-ion batteries in stationary energy storage systems contributes to market growth.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the lithium-ion battery metals market, causing manufacturing delays and supply chain disruptions. However, companies are working to secure long-term supply contracts with alternative suppliers to ensure uninterrupted operations and a stable supply of metals.

While the market has promising growth prospects, there are also challenges to consider. Rising prices of lithium, cobalt, and nickel pose a limitation to market expansion. Additionally, there are concerns about human rights issues related to cobalt mining, which may impact the supply chain and raise ethical considerations for industry players. Overall, the demand drivers for the lithium-ion battery metals market include the growing sales of electric vehicles, rising demand in consumer electronics, and the performance advantages of Li-ion batteries over lead-acid batteries.

Market Segmentation

The market is segmented based on various factors, including end-use application, constituent metal, cell chemistry, and region.

Segmentation by End-Use Application
Automotive Industry
Consumer Electronics Industry
Energy Storage Systems
Other End-Use Applications

Segmentation by Constituent Metal
Other Constituent Metals

Segmentation by Cell Chemistry
Lithium-Cobalt Oxide (LCO)
Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese (NMC)
Nickel-Cobalt-Aluminum (NCA)
Lithium-Magnesium Oxide (LMO)
Lithium-Iron-Phosphate (LFP)
Other Cell Chemistries

Segmentation by Region
North America – U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Europe – Germany, France, Italy, Ukraine, Russia, and Rest-of-Europe
Asia-Pacific and Japan – Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, and Rest-of-Asia-Pacific and Japan
South America – Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Rest-of-South America
Middle East and Africa – U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Rest-of-Middle East and Africa

The automotive industry holds the largest share (50.53%) in the lithium-ion battery metals market in 2021, driven by the increasing sales of electric vehicles (EVs) and the commitment of major automotive companies like Ford, General Motors, and Tesla to focus on EV production in the coming years. With the exponential growth of EV sales worldwide, the automotive segment is expected to continue dominating the market from 2022 to 2031. The International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that there are currently over 16 million electric vehicles on the roads, with 6.6 million sold in 2021. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, EV sales increased by approximately 85% in 2021 compared to 2020, while plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) sales increased by 138% during the same period. This upward trend in EV sales is projected to contribute significantly to the growth of the lithium-ion battery metals market in the forecast period.

In terms of revenue, cobalt metal dominates the lithium-ion battery metals market in 2021 with a share of 48.74%. This is attributed to both the high price of cobalt and the growing demand for NMC cell chemistry type batteries. Lithium metal, on the other hand, is the largest constituent metal segment in the market as it is widely used in all types of lithium-ion battery cell chemistries. Furthermore, the availability of abundant lithium metal reserves globally is expected to maintain its dominant position throughout the forecast period.

The lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) cell chemistry is estimated to hold the largest share (40.34%) in the lithium-ion battery metals market in 2021. This is mainly due to the increasing demand for LFP batteries in energy storage systems and the EV segment. LFP batteries offer advantages such as longer working life, higher energy density and capacity, and cost-effective materials compared to other li-ion battery cell chemistries. The Journal of the Electrochemical Society has reported that LFP batteries have a longer working life than nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) batteries. The strong demand for LFP batteries in the automotive sector and energy storage applications is expected to sustain the dominance of this segment throughout the forecast period.

China currently dominates the lithium-ion battery metals market with a share of 71.86% in 2021. However, the Asia-Pacific and Japan region is projected to gain traction in terms of lithium-ion battery metals production. This is due to the presence of numerous lithium-ion battery manufacturers such as Panasonic, Toshiba, and LG Chem, as well as the increasing sales of electric vehicles in the region. Furthermore, favorable government policies are anticipated to support the growth of the lithium-ion battery metals market in the Asia-Pacific and Japan region during the forecast period.

Competitive Landscape

The selection of the profiled companies was made based on inputs obtained from primary experts, as well as an analysis of their company coverage, product portfolio, and market penetration.

Key companies profiled in this report include Umicore N.V., L&F Co., Ltd., Nichia Corporation, BASF TODA Battery Materials LLC, Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co., Ltd., Livent, Albemarle Corporation, China Molybdenum Co., Ltd., Fortum, Tianqi Lithium Corporation, Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd., NEI Corporation, Huayou Cobalt Co., Ltd., Toda Kogyo Corporation, CoreMax Corporation, Lygend Resources & Technology Co., Ltd., Norilsk Nickel, BHP, POSCO CHEMICAL, Glencore PLC, Wildcat Discovery Technologies, Echion Technologies Ltd., CAMX Power LLC, Allox, Texpower EV Technologies, Inc.

Recent Industry Developments

In April 2022, Lithion Recycling, a Canadian company, secured $18 million in funding from the government of Quebec. The funding was allocated to support the ongoing development of a battery recycling technology capable of extracting 95% of strategic materials from end-of-life lithium-ion batteries and industrial waste.

During the same month, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) successfully acquired exploration rights for a lithium clay deposit in China. CATL disclosed that it obtained the exploration rights for a sum of $135 million and further revealed that the site holds an estimated 2.66 million tons of lithium metal oxide.

Also in April 2022, Nissan and NASA jointly announced a collaboration focused on the development of lithium-ion solid-state batteries. The partnership aims to achieve advancements in solid-state battery technology suitable for application in commercial and aerospace industries.

Key Questions Answered

What are the primary factors and current trends influencing the market for lithium-ion battery metals?

To what extent has the global lithium-ion battery metals market been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

How is the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict expected to impact the lithium-ion battery metals market, particularly in terms of the supply chain for lithium-ion batteries?

What measures have key industry players taken to address this situation and mitigate its impact on the market?

What steps are existing market players taking to enhance their market positioning, and what strategies are new entrants adopting as they enter the market space?

How will the growth of lithium-ion battery recycling impact the lithium-ion battery metals market in the upcoming years? Can it help bridge the gap between supply and demand for metals in the lithium-ion battery industry?

Which constituent metals, cell chemistries, and end-use applications are leading in the market, and how are they expected to perform in the future?

What are the latest developments related to the lithium-ion battery metals market in various countries globally?

How are consumption patterns evolving, and what can be expected in the coming years?

Are there any government regulations, either at the regional or global level, that are influencing the lithium-ion battery metals market?

What are the main barriers to adoption in different regions and countries when it comes to lithium-ion battery metals?

Original price was: USD 5,250.Current price is: USD 3,150.

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Global Lithium-Ion Battery Metals Market 2021

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