In a note on battery raw materials this week, consultants Wood Mackenzie outlined the main themes to look for in 2020:
1. Key EV markets to start growing again
In 2019, the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) market contracted. According to the Chinese Automotive Manufacturers Association, NEV sales reached 1.206 million last year, around 4% lower than in 2018 and 20% lower than China’s target for the year. In the U.S., the reduction was equally noteworthy at around 10% year-on-year. A sluggish global automotive sector and changing subsidies were certainly contributing factors. Nevertheless, it’s clear that EVs are not yet ready to stand on their own feet.
This year, several major automakers are launching “mass-market” EVs on dedicated platforms, aimed at breaking down range and cost barriers. While we expect substantial quantities of these to trickle into the market in the second half of the year, annual passenger EV sales are likely to remain below 3 million. China’s move to postpone the complete removal of NEV subsidies this year will support EV sales but also highlights just how sensitive the EV market still is to subsidies and incentives.
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