Bridging the Global EV Supply Chain Divide

The global electric vehicle (EV) industry is experiencing rapid growth, driving up the demand for lithium-ion batteries. To meet this demand, a recent analysis by Benchmark reveals that the battery industry must invest a staggering $514 billion by 2030, reaching $920 billion by 2035.
Unprecedented Demand for Battery Technology

The forecast indicates that global demand for lithium-ion batteries will soar to 3.7 terawatt-hours (TWh) by 2030, a significant increase from the current 1 TWh. To address this surge, $220 billion must be invested in producing critical raw materials, $201 billion in battery manufacturing, and $93 billion in midstream production of battery materials by 2030.

Challenges in Raw Material Production

Lithium and nickel pose significant challenges in raw material production. The expansion of the global lithium industry will require a $51 billion investment. Nickel, a crucial component for batteries, demands a $66 billion investment due to a significant supply gap between current production and the projected demand by 2030.

The Rise of Gigafactories

To bridge the gap between current battery production and projected demand, $201 billion must be allocated to battery manufacturing. A significant portion of this investment, around 56%, will be directed towards building 1.2 TWh of new gigafactories on greenfield sites. The remaining $89 billion will be utilised to expand and develop existing brownfield sites.

Focus on Cathodes and Anodes

Cathode and anode production play crucial roles in the battery supply chain. An investment of $40 billion is required for cathode production, while anode production demands $15 billion to meet the supply gap by 2030. Neglecting investment in these midstream components can lead to production bottlenecks and hinder the full capacity operation of gigafactories.

Considering Geopolitical Factors

China currently dominates the battery supply chain due to its expertise and cost advantages. However, as countries strive to develop regional supply chains, the estimated investment of $514 billion is expected to increase. Developing regional supply chains will require significant investments, as exemplified by the cost discrepancy between Albemarle’s lithium refinery in China and its facility in the United States.

Timeline Considerations and the Importance of Coordination

While gigafactories and refineries can be built within a few years, upstream mining operations required for feedstock can take up to 25 years to develop. Investing in mining operations now is crucial to ensure efficient gigafactory operations and avoid production constraints due to limited feedstock. A coordinated approach across the entire supply chain is essential to maximise efficiency and achieve industry goals.


Financing the battery supply chain is crucial for the successful transition to clean energy. The staggering investment required to bridge the global EV supply chain divide underscores the vital role batteries play in achieving clean energy goals. Collaboration between governments, industry players, and financial institutions is necessary to overcome raw material production challenges, establish robust gigafactory infrastructure, and develop midstream components. By doing so, we can accelerate the energy transition and pave the way for a sustainable and decarbonised future.

Source: Benchmark

Source: Benchmark
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