The increasing electric vehicle sales across the world, coupled with the declining prices of cathode materials and the expansion of the energy storage battery market, are the major growth drivers for the global cathode material for automotive lithium-ion battery market. Due to these factors, the industry is projected to be valued at $3,777.8 million by 2030, growing with a CAGR of 6.9% during the forecast period (2020–2030).
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the cathode material for automotive lithium-ion battery market. All the affected countries across the world have taken widespread measures, including lockdowns and social distancing, to control the transmission of the infection. As a result of this, the demand for and supply of these materials are facing a temporary hindrance.
Nickel–Cobalt–Aluminum (NCA) Category To Exhibit Fastest Growth in Market during Forecast Period
In terms of type, the cathode material for automotive lithium-ion battery market is classified into lithium-ion–manganese oxide (LMO), lithium–ferrophosphate (LFP), lithium–nickel–cobalt–manganese/lithium–nickel–manganese–cobalt (NMC), lithium–titanate oxide (LTO), and NCA. Among these, the NCA category is expected to advance with the highest growth rate during the forecast period, because NCA batteries offer a higher energy density than others, and they also have faster charging capabilities.
Furthermore, on the basis of vehicle type, the cathode material for automotive lithium-ion battery market is categorized into two-wheeler, passenger car, and commercial vehicle. Among them, the share of the passenger car category was the largest in 2019, and it is further projected to remain the highest-revenue-generating category in the forecast period. This is majorly because huge monetary incentives are being provided to both electric car manufacturers and end users, to promote their adoption, in countries such as China and the U.S.
Geographically, Asia-Pacific (APAC) dominated the cathode material for automotive lithium-ion battery market in the historical period (2014–2019), and it is projected to remain the largest market in the forecast period. This is mainly attributable to the fact that the production and sales of electric vehicles in China are the highest in the world, thus leading to the largest share of the APAC region in the market for lithium-ion batteries, as well as their components and raw materials, including those that go into the cathode. The fastest growth is expected to be exhibited by Latin America, Middle East, and Africa (LAMEA) in the forecast period, owing to the increasing production and sales of electric cars, including hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), in Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, the U.A.E., Colombia, and Israel, driven by the ambitious electric vehicle adoption targets set by them.
Facility Expansion Is Most Popular Strategic Measure Taken by Industry Players
Players in the cathode material for automotive lithium-ion battery market are focused on facility expansions to fight competition. For instance, in January 2020, BASF SE planned to increase the production capacity of its antioxidant, Irganox 1520L, by 20% at its site in Pontecchio Marconi, Italy. Irganox 1520L is a key product in BASF’s antioxidant portfolio. This expansion is BASF’s response to the increasing market demand and an effort to better serve its global customers.
Similarly, in November 2019, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation established a new Mathematical Optimization Center of Excellence in the Digital Transformation (DX) Group of its Emerging Technology & Business Development Office, with the goal of driving the utilization of mathematical optimization techniques across the entire company.
Some of the major players operating in the global cathode material for automotive lithium-ion battery market are Panasonic Corporation, 3M Co., L&F Company Limited, NEI Corporation, BASF SE, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, Hitachi Chemical Company Limited, Nichia Corporation, Umicore SA, and Johnson Matthey PLC.