China’s lithium battery boom led to 41% jump in robot sales in 2022

In recent years, China's burgeoning EV sector and the resulting boom of lithium battery market have been a major driver behind the surging sales of homegrown AMRs.

China saw a sales increase of 41.17% for industrial robots catering to its red-hot lithium-ion battery industry in 2022, a high-profile study revealed recently.

According to a research report by GGII, an industry-focused market researcher, of all the industrial robots deployed to lithium battery making, six-axis robots sold 15,050 units while 12,825 SCARA robots found their buyers last year.

This is the first time in years that six-axis robot sales has outstripped that of SCARA robots in the lithium battery segment.

The change in proportion resulted mainly from a market boom of EV battery packs, coupled with dwindling demand for lithium batteries from the 3C industry.

In the lithium sector, six-axis robot and SCARA robot are the two most-used types of robots in manufacturing. SCARA robot is primarily utilized in building batteries for 3C clients.

By contrast, six-axis robots are used more often in the production of EV power batteries, mainly in mid-to-late stages such as module and pack assembling, involving material handling, gluing, stacking, welding and examination.

According to data from GGII, in 2022 China’s lithium battery market hit 100 billion yuan (US$14 billion), up 70% year on year. At the same time, lithium battery shipment rocketed 100.31% to a capacity of 655GWh.

Graphics and data courtesy of GGII

In recent years, China’s burgeoning EV sector and the resulting boom of lithium battery market have been a major driver behind the surging sales of homegrown AMRs.

GGII published statistics earlier, showing that mobile robot sales driven by the lithium segment totaled 10,263 units in 2022, 50.07% higher than the previous year.

However, the GGII study also identifies a number of constraints that hold back the domestic AMR domain.

One of the biggest hurdles is the increasing homogenization of products.

Besides, the use of mobile robots has been concentrated mostly in the early-to-late stages of application scenarios, says GGII.

Applications have become quite mature both in the case of customized and standardized models, as they become more alike in the hardware part.

For domestic AMR manufacturers, the way out of the predicament lies in shifting their core competitiveness from hardware to software, the study explains.

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Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at

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