The global lithium-ion (li-ion) battery recycling market is evaluated at US$375.200 million in 2019 and is projected to reach US$1,370.949 million by the year 2025 growing at a CAGR of 24.11%. The market is projected to show promising growth over the forecast period which is primarily attributable to the electric vehicle (EV) sector that is booming at the global level as more and more governments are inclining towards environmental sustainability and are thus implementing necessary policies and regulations to enhance the penetration of electric vehicles in their respective regions.
Moreover, the companies are investing in R&D for the development of new and cost-efficient recycling technologies, further widening up the business growth opportunities shortly. Li-ion batteries are highly suitable for their applications in modern consumer electronics products and electric vehicles. Consequently, the growing sales of consumer electronics particularly in the developing regions will play a major role in shaping up the market growth over the projected period. However, the outbreak of the novel COVID-19 pandemic is expected to inflict a modest impact on the market growth during the short run owing to supply chain disruptions and reduced demand from several end-users.
Booming EV (Electric Vehicle) Sector
One of the major factors driving the lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery recycling market growth is the growing focus on electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing coupled with the rising adoption of electric vehicles across the globe. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) data, the global electric car stock increased from 0.02 million units in 2010 to 4.79 million units in 2019. Growing concerns regarding environmental sustainability and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are encouraging governments and global organizations and agencies to boost the adoption of electric vehicles. As such, subsidies and incentives provided to consumers have significantly surged the sales of electric cars in countries such as the United States, China, and the European region. Technological progress in the electrification of two and three-wheelers, buses, and trucks, has further driven up the global EV sector. In 2019, the sales of electric cars accounted for 2.6% of the global car sales and registered a 40% year-on-year increase. In Europe alone, new electric bus registration has witnessed a rise from 0.11 thousand units in 2015 to 1.99 thousand units in 2019. Furthermore, a continuing shift from direct subsidies to regulatory measures and strict policies- including fuel economy standards and zero-emission vehicle mandates have further increased the production of EVs.
As the production of EVs has been continuously rising over the past few years, the demand for Li-Ion batteries has also increased. Since these batteries have a short life span of around 2-3 years, this increase in demand for lithium-ion batteries across the booming EV sector is also driving up the demand for lithium-ion battery recycling, thus bolstering the market growth.
High Sale of Consumer Electronics
Rising disposable incomes and increasing urbanization coupled with technological advancements, including miniaturization of electronics and electrical components, have boosted both sales and production of consumer electronics worldwide in the past years. Advancements in technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) along with the continuously declining prices of consumer electronic products are further encouraging their continued consumption. With China being the world's largest producer, exporter, and consumer of consumer electronics, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the country's expanding production volume of the consumer electronics industry can be associated with the growing demand for lithium-ion batteries globally. In 2018, Chinese shipments of smartphones stood at 27.8% of the global total, followed by personal computers (20%) and televisions (20%). Countries such as Japan, South Korea, and India have also witnessed a significant increase in the production as well as the sale of consumer electronics.
With all this sales volume of consumer electronics, which use li-ion batteries, the demand for recycling services is also augmenting significantly which is fueling the li-ion battery recycling market growth.
Advancements In Recycling Technology
Researchers across the globe are continuously working on the improvement in productivity and thus, the basic economics of recycling. Continuous R&D investments, both public and private, are being funneled to develop and improve the existing Li-ion battery recycling technologies. For instance, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) launched its first lithium-ion battery recycling R&D center known as ReCel in January 2019. This US$15 million investment aims to advance the recycling technology to make the recycling process profitable while reducing the country's dependence on other countries/regions for battery materials. In the United Kingdom, the Reuse and Recycling of Lithium-Ion Batteries (ReLiB) project bring together researchers and industry representatives to improve the efficiency of the lithium-ion battery recycling process. Canadian company Li-cycle claims to have developed a patented technology that can recover between 80% and 100% of the resources from lithium-ion batteries. The company has recently announced Eastman Business Park in Rochester, New York, as its first commercial lithium-ion battery recycling hub. In 2019, a leading European energy company, Fortum, announced that the company can recover 80% of the battery materials (cobalt, manganese, and nickel) from all-spent lithium-ion batteries with a low-CO2 hydrometallurgical recycling process. The company has also recently announced the development of patented breakthrough technology for recovery methods that can reduce the environmental impact of Li-ion battery recycling. Such advancements in the lithium-ion battery recycling technology are projected to spur up the recycling process not just in China, but around the world, which will drive the lithium-ion market growth over the next five years.
In April 2021, Battery Resources, an integrated lithium-ion battery recycling company, announced the completion of a US$20 million Series B equity round financing. The financing was led by Orbia Ventures, and other firms such as At One Ventures, Doral Energy Tech Ventures, and others also participated in the round. The novel financing would be used in the development of a novel commercial-scale processing facility, with an annual capacity to process around 10,000 tons of batteries.
In April 2021, ERI, a US-based e-waste processor and Redwood Materials, announced a partnership to develop a solution for closed-loop recycling for lithium-ion batteries. Redwood, would receive up to 30 tons a week of lithium-ion batteries, initially.
|Market size value in 2019||US$375.200 million|
|Market size value in 2025||US$1,370.949 million|
|Growth Rate||CAGR of 24.11% from 2019 to 2025|
|Forecast Unit (Value)||USD Million|
|Segments covered||Type, Chemistry, Industry, And Geography|
|Regions covered||North America, South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific|
|Companies covered||Umicore N.V., Neometals Ltd., Li-Cycle Corp, Duesenfeld GmbH, Retriev Technologies, SNAM, Envirostream, Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd., Battery Resources, Fortum|
|Customization scope||Free report customization with purchase.|
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