Over the last decade, use of graphite in batteries has increased significantly. In terms of weight, graphite is the second-largest component in lithium-ion batteries. Each lithium-ion battery requires 10 to 20 times more graphite than lithium. According to an independent research firm, in 2012, around 80% of graphite used in batteries was for lithium-ion batteries. There has been a steady increase in the use of lithium-ion batteries in the automobile industry. For instance, Tesla Motors, Inc., an automotive company based in the U.S., has announced plans to invest USD 5 billion in a new lithium-ion battery factory. This is expected to increase demand for natural graphite by up to 37% by 2020. The factory is expected to start production by 2017. Moreover, the rapid increase in the use of lithium-ion batteries in smartphones, laptops, tablets, portable media players, and power tools is expected to further drive the graphite market.
Asia-Pacific is the largest market for graphite globally. Rise of technologically advanced applications of graphite in pebble-bed nuclear reactors, fuel cells, solar power systems, and automotive and aerospace industries is driving the graphite market in the Asia Pacific region. China and India are the major markets for graphite in the region. Rising demand for steel and other metals has increased the demand for graphite electrode in Asia Pacific. This, in turn, is driving the growth of the graphite market. China accounts for over 70% share of total graphite production in the world. According to China\'s Twelfth Five-Year Plan, the government plans to have around 5.0 million battery-electric vehicles plying on the roads by 2020. This is expected to increase demand for graphite in the Asia Pacific market during the forecast period. According to a research report, the sale of plug-in electric vehicles in North America is expected to rise at a CAGR of 30.0% from 2012 to 2020. The total sales of tablets in the U.S. market grew from 9.7 million in 2010 to 40.6 million in 2013. This growth in sales is expected to drive demand for lithium-ion batteries.
Rising demand for electric vehicles and other electronic devices such as mobile, tablets, laptops, and cameras offers huge potential for the growth of the lithium-ion battery industry. This, in turn, is further expected to boost demand for graphite in North America. Europe is the second-largest graphite market in the world. Growing use of carbon fiber instead of steel in the automotive and aerospace industries in Europe is leading to increasing demand for graphite. Graphite is considered as a key material for green technology. Due to this fact, it is widely used in many applications for energy storage, photovoltaics, and in various electronic products.
The Competitive Landscape section of the graphite market report includes benchmarking section which provides an insight on various companies operating in the graphite market based on measured and indicated graphite resources in million tons (Mt) and the grade of graphite in % Cg. Some of the major companies operating in the global graphite market are Triton Minerals Ltd., Lamboo Resources Limited, Mason Graphite, Focus Graphite Inc., Energizer Resources Inc., Northern Graphite Corporation, Alabama Graphite Corp., Flinders Resources Ltd., Syrah Resources Limited, SGL Carbon SE, GrafTech International Holdings Inc, Graphite India Limited, Nippon Graphite Industries, Co., Ltd., Asbury Graphite Mills, Inc, Showa Denko K.K., and Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd.
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