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Battery Megafactory Forecast: 400% Increase in Capacity to 1 TWh by 2028

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Battery Megafactory Forecast: 400% Increase in Capacity to 1 TWh by 2028

Battery Megafactory Forecast

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

When ground broke on the massive Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada in 2014, the world marveled at the project’s audacity, size, and scope.

At the time, it was touted that the cutting-edge facility would be the largest building in the world by footprint, and that the Gigafactory would single-handedly be capable of doubling the world’s lithium-ion battery production capacity.

What many did not realize, however, is that although as ambitious and as forward-looking as the project sounded, the Gigafactory was just the start of a trend towards scale in the battery making space. While Tesla’s facility was the most publicized, it would ultimately be one of many massive factories in the global pipeline.

Mastering Scale

Today’s data comes to us from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, and it forecasts that we will see a 399% increase in lithium-ion battery production capacity over the next decade – enough to pass the impressive 1 TWh milestone.

Here is a more detailed projection of how things will shape up in the coming decade:

RegionCapacity (GWh, 2018)Capacity (GWh, 2023)Capacity (GWh, 2028)
China134.5405631
Europe19.693.5207
North America20.981148
Other005
Asia (excl China)45.578.5111.5
Grand Total220.56581,102.5

In just a decade, lithium-ion battery megafactories around the world will have a combined production capacity equivalent to 22 Tesla Gigafactories!

The majority of this capacity will be located in China, which is projected to have 57% of the global total.

The Top Plants Globally

According to Benchmark, the top 10 megafactories will be combining for 299 GWh of capacity in 2023, which will be equal to almost half of the global production total.

Here are the top 10 plants, sorted by projected capacity:

RankMegafactoryOwnerCountryForecasted capacity by 2023 (GWh)
#1CATLContemporary Amperex Technology Co LtdChina50
#2Tesla Gigafactory 1Tesla Inc / Panasonic Corp (25%)US50
#3Nanjing LG Chem New Energy Battery Co., Ltd.LG ChemChina35
#4Nanjing LG Chem New Energy Battery Co., Ltd. Plant 2LG ChemChina28
#5Samsung SDI XianSamsung SDIChina25
#6Funeng TechnologyFuneng Technology (Ganzhou)China25
#7BYD , QinghaiBYD Co LtdChina24
#8LG Chem Wroclaw Energy Sp. z o.o.LG ChemPoland22
#9Samsung SDI KoreaSamsung SDIKorea20
#10LishenTianJin Lishen Battery Joint-Stock CO.,LTDChina20

Of the top 10 megafactory plants in 2023, the majority will be located in China – meanwhile, the U.S. (Tesla Gigafactory), South Korea (Samsung), and Poland (LG Chem) will be home to the rest.

Reaching economies of scale in lithium-ion battery production will be a significant step in decreasing the overall cost of electric vehicles, which are expected to surpass traditional vehicles in market share by 2038.

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Ranked: The World’s Largest Lithium Producers in 2023

Three countries account for almost 90% of the lithium produced in the world.

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Voronoi graphic showing the top lithium producers in 2023.

The World’s Largest Lithium Producers in 2023

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Three countries—Australia, Chile, and China—accounted for 88% of lithium production in 2023.

In this graphic, we list the world’s leading countries in terms of lithium production. These figures come from the latest USGS publication on lithium statistics (published Jan 2024).

Australia Leads, China Approaches Chile

Australia, the world’s leading producer, extracts lithium directly from hard-rock mines, specifically from the mineral spodumene.

The country saw a big jump in output over the last decade. In 2013, Australia produced 13,000 metric tons of lithium, compared to 86,000 metric tons in 2023.

RankCountryLithium production 2023E (metric tons)
1🇦🇺 Australia86,000
2🇨🇱 Chile44,000
3🇨🇳 China33,000
4🇦🇷 Argentina9,600
5🇧🇷 Brazil4,900
6🇨🇦 Canada3,400
7🇿🇼 Zimbabwe3,400
8🇵🇹 Portugal380
🌍 World Total184,680

Chile is second in rank but with more modest growth. Chilean production rose from 13,500 tonnes in 2013 to 44,000 metric tons in 2023. Contrary to Australia, the South American country extracts lithium from brine.

China, which also produces lithium from brine, has been approaching Chile over the years. The country increased its domestic production from 4,000 metric tons in 2013 to 33,000 last year.

Chinese companies have also increased their ownership shares in lithium producers around the globe; three Chinese companies are also among the top lithium mining companies. The biggest, Tianqi Lithium, has a significant stake in Greenbushes, the world’s biggest hard-rock lithium mine in Australia.

Argentina, the fourth country on our list, more than tripled its production over the last decade and has received investments from other countries to increase its output.

With all the top producers increasing output to cover the demand from the clean energy industry, especially for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, the lithium market has seen a surplus recently, which caused prices to collapse by more than 80% from a late-2022 record high.

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