Saturday, December 4

The world is heading for an electric vehicle revolution and the demand for batteries is boosted

Ford follows General Motors who plans to invest some $ 35 billion in electrification of vehicles by 2025, an amount greater than the 27 billion previously invested. Adds Volkswagen, the largest automaker in the world by volume, which plans to build six batteries in Europe by 2030.

For its part, Tesla, which maintains a huge advantage over automakers, continues to invest in battery capacity and technology. With which, in general, the automakers that control 50% of the world vehicle market have allocated around 75 billion dollars for this end until the end of this decade. The automotive industry is challenged to quadruple battery capacity by the middle of the decade and meet the announced targets.

At the same time, battery manufacturing must also be more efficient and cost-cutting, one of the biggest challenges as competitive pressures are strong. Today the global battery supply chain winds for more than 25,000 miles before it ends up in a car.

Investment boom

The adoption of electric vehicles it is being a true revolution. This fuels the demand for other components such as rechargeable batteries, which use lithium-ion, and allow them to carry higher watts per hour, approximately four times more than other types of batteries.

Much of the recent attention on battery costs and supply chain issues has focused on the raw materials used in battery manufacturing and where they are mined. This is a major problem. Cobalt, for example, is used on the cathode, the positive side of a terminal through which ions flow into a lithium-ion battery. About 70% of the world’s annual cobalt production is mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country with a poor human rights record. As a result, some EV manufacturers are leaning towards nickel, which is more abundant and yields by the way.

Also so-called rare earth metals are being incorporated into new technologies, from lithium-ion batteries to electric vehicles, wind turbines and missile guidance systems. There is also a limited global supply, as only a handful of producers globally produce the metals with China controlling most of the sector’s production and capacity.