Making the Battery: the Upstream, Midstream, and Downstream Supply Chain

Click on the tabs at the top to view different segments of the li-ion battery supply chain, from mining to components manufacturing to battery cell assembly. Toggle through the menu on the left to view the geographic distribution of production for different inputs at each stage of the supply chain, as well as the leading players in that particular industry. Finally, click on the highlighted countries to view additional details on production volume and political risk.

Key Battery Components

Key Players

    Battery Cell Production

    Key Players

      Sources: USGS; McKinsey; Morgan Stanley; The Nickel Institute; Statista; Bloomberg; author estimates.

      Data Notes: Production data is for 2017. Nickel production is typically divided into Class I and Class II, with Class I being the ideal type for EV batteries because of its higher purity. Nickel refining data is for 2014 and does not distinguish between the two classes.

      All political risk scores throughout are taken from Marsh and are based on Fitch BMI Research. The score, on a scale from 1 to 100, is an index that is composed of the average of several specific risk scores. The higher the score means less risk and more stability (see more detailed methodology:

      Only the top 5-6 key corporate players are included, because they typically constitute 80%-95% of the market. The country after each company designates the location of their headquarters and not necessarily where production actually takes place. Therefore, top production by country does not usually match with leading industry players.

      Finally, a specific note on graphite. Although China dominates aggregate production, the domestic graphite industry is composed of hundreds of small players that are not producing at scale. It’s possible that industrial consolidation may have led to larger players in the Chinese graphite industry. The key industry players for graphite may also bear further scrutiny because some of the companies may have yet to begin production and have only announced intention to produce. We will continue to update this data and welcome input from our audience.

      Sources: Morgan Stanley; RealLi Research; Haitong Securities; European Commission; Avicenne; Statista; author estimates.

      Data Notes: All production data are for 2015. Not all percentages add up to 100%, since this map highlights dominant countries that together hold a global market share of between 75% to 90% in their industry.

      As of 2015, China and Japan dominated the global market for anode production, with a combined output estimated at 90% or higher. However, South Korea in recent years has invested in more anode production capacity, and a subsidiary of POSCO has reportedly ramped up production to as much as 24,000 tons.

      Finally, we used Poland to represent the European Union, in part to have a single access point on the map and also because the country could well become a major site for EV battery production in Europe

      Sources: Benchmark Mineral Intelligence; IEA Global EV Outlook 2017; author estimates.

      Data Notes: These five locations constitute almost all global li-ion battery production. It is challenging to obtain accurate, timely, and consistent figures from companies across various countries. And there tends to be considerable discrepancy between actual annual production volumes (reality) versus installed production capacity (aspirational). For China, for instance, that gap is quite large.

      We consulted numerous sources, both from industry and public reports (e.g. Morgan Stanley; GGII; Avicenne; Bloomberg New Energy Finance; Clean Energy Manufacturing Analysis Center), but much of the data was difficult to reconcile with other sources. We ultimately settled on 2018 production capacity data from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence to provide the latest picture of the li-ion battery production landscape. We estimated Japan and South Korea’s respective production percentages based on this data and our understanding of those countries’ li-ion battery supply chains. Finally, the EV stock figures are for 2016 and cover only BEVs, not PHEVs.

      We will continue to update this map based on the best available data. In the meantime, we welcome user feedback regarding improvements and oversights.