Automotive Lithium-ion Cell Manufacturing: Regional Cost Structures and Supply Chain Considerations

Donald Chung, Emma Elgqvist, Shriram Santhanagopalan

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Manufacturing capacity for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs)--which power many consumer electronics and are increasingly used to power electric vehicles--is heavily concentrated in east Asia. Currently, China, Japan, and Korea collectively host 88% of all LIB cell and 79% of automotive LIB cell manufacturing capacity. Mature supply chains and strong cumulative production experience suggest that most LIB cell production will remain concentrated in Asia. However, other regions--including North America--could be competitive in the growing automotive LIB cell market under certain conditions. To illuminate the factors that drive regional competitiveness in automotive LIB cell production, this study models cell manufacturing cost and minimum sustainable price, and examines development of LIB supply chains and current LIB market conditions. Modeled costs are for large format, 20-Ah stacked pouch cells with lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt-oxide (NMC) cathodes and graphite anodes suitable for automotive application. Production volume is assumed to be at commercial scale, 600 MWh per year.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages25
StatePublished - 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-66086


  • Asia
  • automotive LIB
  • battery cell
  • electric vehicles
  • lithium-ion batteries
  • lithium-nickel-maganese-cobalt-oxide
  • manufacturing
  • production volume
  • regional competitiveness
  • United States


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