EV Battery Boom Could Hit a Wall: Are We Headed for a Supply Chain Swerve?

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Peugeot e-5008 Unveiling the Future of Electric Crossovers
Peugeot e-5008 revealing the Future of Electric Crossovers (Credit: Sochaux)

Electric vehicles (EVs) are all the rage, and that means a key ingredient – lithium-ion batteries – are in high demand. But hold on a sec, things might be getting a little too hot (or should we say charged?) in the battery world.

Here’s the deal: in 2023, the world needed around 950 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of lithium-ion batteries for EVs and stationary storage (like big batteries that power buildings). That’s a lot of juice! But guess how much battery-making capacity there was? A whopping 2,600 GWh – almost triple the demand.

LG Energy Solution Set to Launch High-Capacity Cylindrical Batteries
LG Energy Solution Set to Launch High-Capacity Cylindrical Batteries (Credits: lg energy)

Fast forward to the end of 2024, and things are about to get even more interesting (or maybe a little scary for battery companies). Experts predict that factories will be able to pump out a mind-blowing 7,900 GWh of batteries – that’s 7.9 terawatt-hours (a terawatt-hour is basically a giga-giga-watt-hour, for those keeping score at home!).

On the other hand, demand is only expected to reach 1.6 TWh. In simpler terms, we’re looking at a situation where battery factories could be churning out five times more batteries than we actually need.

So, what does this battery bonanza mean?

Well, the good news is that it could lead to cheaper batteries – a win for everyone from EV drivers to companies using battery storage. But there’s also a chance it could cause a glut, where there are simply too many batteries on the market, which could hurt battery makers. Only time will tell how this battery boom plays out, but one thing’s for sure: the EV industry is about to get a major jolt.

The Battery Boom Might Not Be So Shocking

Okay, so we painted a picture of a battery overload – factories overflowing with way more batteries than anyone needs. But there’s more to the story.

It turns out, all those super-high production numbers for batteries might be a bit optimistic. Experts at Bloomberg say some factories won’t hit their targets. Think of it like overpromising and underdelivering. Smaller companies might get squeezed out by the big guys, and other parts of the battery-making process might not be able to keep up with such an ambitious pace.

Lamp Posts into Electric Vehicle Chargers
Lamp Posts into Electric Vehicle Chargers (Credits: Voltpost)

Here’s the bigger picture though: even if the initial boom isn’t quite as big as predicted, battery production will keep growing. Why? Governments around the world are pushing for cleaner cars, and electric vehicles (EVs) are a key part of the plan. The United States and Europe, for example, are saying carmakers need to cut down on how much pollution their cars cause. This means more and more EVs on the road, which means more batteries needed.

China is the battery king right now, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Their big battery companies are constantly innovating and coming up with better batteries. But that doesn’t mean everyone else is sitting around twiddling their thumbs. Europe, North America (that’s us!), and other parts of Asia are also ramping up their battery production in the next couple of years.

So, the battery bonanza might not be quite as crazy as it first seemed. There will likely be some bumps in the road, but the overall trend is clear: the world is getting ready for a future powered by batteries.


By Sajda

Sajda is a car enthusiast, however, she is more focused on motorbikes.

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