Thanks to the limited availability of fuel, electric cars are gaining momentum globally, which in turn driving growth of the global lithium market. Due to high demand for lithium-ion batteries, numerous lithium manufacturers have entered in to manufacture of lithium-ion battery. For instance, Lithium Australia’s subsidiary VSPC Ltd has started production of lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery cathode from its newly commissioned pilot plant. Distribution of cathode samples from this pilot plant is anticipated to start from by the end of 2018. This new entrants in the market are intensifying competition.
Lithium is mainly used during production of glass ceramics owing to its durability. It can lower firing temperature and thermal expansion which increases the strength of ceramic products such as heat-proof ceramic cookware. The lithium-ion batteries are employed in hybrid cars and electric cars for its better battery backup. These trends are expected to propel growth of the global lithium market over the forecast period.
Lithium is lightest element and reacts faster when exposed to air and water. It has properties such as high coefficient of viscosity, thermal expansion, and electrochemical potential. Extensive applications of lithium in industrial, electrical vehicles, consumer electronics, and energy storage are fuelling growth of the global lithium market.
Here are some of the important pointers related to the market to enable investors bet right on it.
Lithium market is driven by high demand for lithium-ion batteries in the connected storage with grid. Lithium-ion batteries possess properties to store power substantially higher than other material. Devices such as laptops, cameras, mobiles, and monitors enabled with lithium-ion batteries. This factor is driving growth of the global lithium market.
Additionally, lithium emits low carbon level. Usage of lithium-ion batteries reduces carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles which has a great impact on containing the effects of global warming. Rising adoption of electric and hybrid cars due to growing environmental concern are bolstering growth of the global lithium market. However, high cost of lithium-ion batteries are restraining growth of lithium market.
Lithium are available in the form of metal, compound, and alloys. It is available in carbonate, chloride, hydroxide compounds. It has wide-ranging applications in batteries, automotive parts, glass and glass ceramics, greases, polymers, aluminum smelting, metallurgy, air treatment, and alloys. Of these, its application in batteries is comparatively higher owing to rising demand for consumer electrics and electric cars.
Asia Pacific is the key market for lithium owing to rising demand for new energy storage applications in electronics as well as cars. Desire of owning a car and personal devices are fuelling growth of the lithium market. North America is another prominent region for the market being strong market and high demand for rechargeable batteries.
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Expansion of semiconductor industry in Europe is bolstering demand of the lithium-ion batteries. In addition, larger car manufacturers are launching cars in the market which is augmenting demand for lithium-ion batteries. This demand is boosting growth of the global lithium-ion market and expected to continue over the forecast period. Nevertheless, Latin America also possess potential to create lucrative opportunities owing to presence of large resources in the region.
Albemarle Corporation, FMC, SQM, and Sichuan Tianqi are some of the key players accounting for the larger share in the global lithium markets.