Would there be Enough Batteries to Fulfill the Industry’s EV Promises?
Recently, General Motors has announced that by 2025 there will be 30 electric vehicles on the market, 20 of which will be in North America. Preliminary stages in preparation for the introduction of electric vehicles include Rivian, Lucido, Bollinger, and Fisker. Lots of electric vehicles, lots of batteries. Now, the question arises, Would there be Enough Batteries to Fulfill the Industry’s EV Promises? Several well-known experts have suggested that this may not be the case.
Udo Panenka is chairman of the Global Industrial Automation Division of ATS Automation Equipment Systems in Germany and has battery collection lines worldwide (including General Motors). Martin Starkey is the Managing Director of Ricardo Performance Products UK, a provider of powertrain solutions for niche electric vehicle applications. The pair will be invited to the online Reuters forum during Battery Challenge, which will be held on July 14.
Udo Panenka said in an interview that he heard the automaker's CEO's words about EVs every day. They have ambitious goals, but not everyone has a clear plan to reach them. Western companies are going to produce their batteries, just like major Asian battery manufacturers. Now the tide of dependency is waning. We need more elements and we need to manufacture them in our geographies only, but bringing electric vehicles to market is a big challenge. He said that everyone is working hard to leverage emerging technologies to lower battery costs and design better batteries so that we expect the car to hit the market in the coming years. As per his concerns, we need to understand that complex automation projects run differently, or OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers cannot produce enough batteries. Unless Panenka focuses on future technological changes and designs these production lines to achieve scalability, manufacturers with evolutionary batteries and battery packs will be on the battery collection line. He said he could invest a million dollars.
According to Panenka, customers have placed more than 400 replacement orders in the battery collection project. This has a huge impact on the customer's costs and schedule. They hired business experts to ensure that the plan was practical, especially manufacturing and design flexibility, and to ensure that machine manufacturers and their automation suppliers would shorten the existing 2-3 years. The company also requested that it be included in the customer's battery development team as soon as possible. It takes almost 10 months to build a product line.
Berkeley CEO and co-founder Tal Sholklapper said in late 2020 that General Motors, Hyundai, and Ford Motors recalled more than 150,000 electric vehicles due to battery problems with Tier 1 battery suppliers LG Energy Solution and Samsung SDI. Headquartered in Voltaiq, California, it provides commercial battery information to manufacturers. It was recently recommended that Chevrolet Bolt owners return from 2017 to 2019 and park their cars outside.
Lucid says they have their supply chain for EV batteries. Spokesperson Dave Buchko said that Lucid Motors has developed its own patented battery models for its vehicles. The company collects them at their facility in Arizona, and that's why they are sure that they can meet that demand as demand grows.
In addition to production capacity, there are other challenges for the battery industry, such as obtaining a significant supply of raw materials such as cobalt from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is a problem in the first place. In any case, lithium is becoming more widely available, and domestic products are also appearing in the United States. General Motors recently invested in a clean lithium program in Salton Sea, California. Under pressure from regulators, device manufacturers are accelerating to absorb electricity in the future and have announced the end of their internal combustion engine program. However, the proper operation requires a test and reliable battery.
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