Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsKnowing the lithium ion manufacturing process from the cell to a full battery, let's have a global look at the industry, and some orders of magnitude.

Skip to 0 minutes and 20 secondsLithium ion industrial production started in the early '90s, targeting first portable electronics market. Annual production in the very first years was confidential, about 200 MWh per year in 1995 for 35 million cells produced. In the early 2000s, annual worldwide production reached about 2 GWh per year for more than 500 million cells produced. Since then, the production has grown exponentially to reach about 164 GWh per year in 2017 for more than seven billion cells produced. The current three biggest players are in the range of one billion cells per year, or for each one two times the entire annual production back in the early 2000s.

Skip to 1 minute and 8 secondsThe compound annual growth rate of lithium ion volume over 2010 to 2016 was about 25% per year. To better figure the growth, we can have a look at the related products. The smartphone capacity is in a range of one to 10 Wh, most often supplied by one unique cell.

Skip to 1 minute and 32 secondsMore than two billion cellphones have been sold in 2016, and the estimated total capacity shipped was about five gigawatt-hour. But the rise of stationary storage solution and electric mobility changes significantly the picture because of the much larger capacity of the embedded batteries, but also because of large accessible market. As an example, an EV pack ranges from 20 to 100 kilowatt-hour, meaning each car is equivalent to 2,000 up to 20,000 smartphone cells. 125,000 EV cars with a 40-kilowatt-hour pack would then require as much annual capacity as the one required for all cellphones, while still representing only 0.2% of the annual light duty vehicle sales. An energy storage solution ranges from 10 kilowatt-hour to tens or hundreds of megawatt-hour for each battery.

Skip to 2 minutes and 28 secondsThe largest stationary lithium-ion battery worldwide deployed as of today is around 100 megawatt-hour. This single battery is equivalent to 10 million smartphone cells, or about half of the worldwide annual production capacity back in 1995. Only 50 of those batteries deployed each year will require as much as the annual capacity for all phones.

Skip to 2 minutes and 54 secondsIt should be noted that calculating worldwide production capacity or effective output is a non-trivial exercise. The cell annual output of each plant can strongly vary due to bottlenecks, due to maintenance program, effective use rate, due to market conditions, but also due to each cell capacity, as they can have more or less energy content depending on the targeted application.

Skip to 3 minutes and 24 secondsThe industry is steadily growing. The worldwide maximum annual production capacity is now estimated over 200 gigawatt-hour per year at the end of 2017, and it could reach 360 gigawatt-hour per year by the end of 2020 if all announced or ordered construction projects are realised. Beyond 2020, the estimation range is broad, for 500 gigawatt-hour per year to 1500 gigawatt-hour per year by 2025, depending on the scenario This broad range is in part due to time required to build a new factory, about 18 months to 3 years, but also to the uncertainty regarding the market take-off of electric vehicles and energy storage solutions.

Skip to 4 minutes and 13 secondsThe footprint of those new plants is significant, about one million square feet for 5 to 10 gigawatt-hour per year of annual production. This size is comparable to some of the largest buildings already existing, such as the Boeing Everett Factory in the USA, totalising 4.3 million square feet. To sum up, we can see that lithium ion has become a very large industry, and it's growing at a high pace. Many opportunities remain to expand it even more, especially looking at some technology breakthroughs that are coming, such as lithium ion solid state batteries that will probably require some deep evolution of manufacturing processes and equipment.

Skip to 4 minutes and 55 secondsUnderstanding the very large size of addressable market due to the rise of renewable and electric mobility, but also the scarcity of some resources, such as cobalt, a question remains about how large our industry can become in a sustainable way.

Lithium-ion battery industry

Did you know that the lithium-ion battery industry actually started growing in the 90’s? In the following video lecture, Yann Laot, Strategic Marketing Manager at SAFT, will explain the current stage of the industry and its growth expectations.

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This video is from the free online course:

Understanding Energy Storage: The Battery Revolution

EIT InnoEnergy