Lithium is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal that is highly reactive, incredibly light and low in density. Though it had a diverse range of applications throughout history, in recent years, it has become a critical component of lithium-ion (‘Li-ion’) batteries due its reactivity, lightness and ability to be recharged.
Although growing demand for lithium was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, consensus amongst industry experts is that demand for lithium will experience significant growth in the coming years due to the increased penetration of electric vehicles (EVs) globally and also the popularisation of renewable energy leading to an increased demand for battery storage for a plethora of consumer goods and grid storage.
In 2010, there were about 17,000 EVs being driven but by 2019, this had increased to 7.2 million. Almost half (47%) of these EVs were in China.1 EV innovation has evolved quickly and many countries around the world, including Australia, the United Kingdom and France have adopted government policies that encourage the uptake of EVs in the future.
Global Lithium Supply & Demand (kt LCE2)
2 LCE: Lithium Carbonate Equivalent