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China's vehicle electrification impacts on sales, fuel use, and battery material demand through 2050: Optimizing consumer and...

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The promotion of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) is pivotal to China's carbon neutrality strategy. Therefore, it is important to understand the vehicle market evolution and its impacts in terms of costs, sales, industry fuel economy, and PEV's battery material demand. By examining vehicle technologies, cost, policy incentives, infrastructure, and driver behavior, this study quantitatively projects the dynamics of China's passenger vehicle market from 2020 to 2050 under multiple technology evolution scenarios. By 2050, battery electric vehicles could gain significant market share—as much as 30.4%–64.6%; and the industry's sales-weighted average fuel consumption could reach 1.81–3.11 L/100 km. Cumulative battery demand from PEVs could soar to over 700 GWh by 2050, whereas battery recycling alone could satisfy about 60% of the demand by 2050. The key metal supplies—lithium, cobalt, and nickel—for China's PEV market are projected, and nickel should be concerned more over the coming decades.