Our lithium demand model based on some reasonable assumptions such as 15% EV penetration by the end of 2025 (China already hit 3.7% in April 2018, and global EV penetration should exceed 2% in 2018), forecasts Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) from Electric Vehicles (EVs) to reach 1.1mtpa by the end of 2025. By way of a comparison in May last year tripled their forecast for LCE demand to ~1mtpa by 2026.
Roskill lithium demand forecast
The key to understand is that demand is not just from booming electric car sales. There is plenty more demand from other EVs – e-buses, e-trucks, e-ships and e-boats, e-bikes, soon e-planes, the energy storage and electronics sectors.
For now e-buses especially in China have been a huge demand driver for lithium. Soon we will have e-semis and all kinds of electric trucks. Just this last week Daimler announced two new electric trucks for the US market to take on the Tesla semi that was slated for 2019 production. A full size electric semi-truck will need about 10-16 times more batteries (and hence lithium) than an electric car.