The auto industry is getting pretty roughed up these days. Shortage of semiconductors, supply difficulties, rising fuel prices, all issues that are holding back vehicle sales, especially for electric cars and SUVs. Another tile for the industry, several stakeholders also believe that we will experience a shortage of batteries historical.
This was stated by several senior auto industry executives, including Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis. It seems that the materials essential to the manufacture of the batteries found on board electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are becoming increasingly rare.
Still according to Mr. Tavares, this production will also put pressure on the extraction of raw materials, which poses, in his opinion, geopolitical issues. “We may not like how these materials will be mined over the next few years. »
A pressure that does not come only from the automobile
The adoption of the electric car is not the only factor responsible for the situation, the increase in demand for batteries comes from electronics, but also from a panoply of new segments such as bicycles and other recreational vehicles . Several countries have also announced that they want to ban sales of internal combustion vehicles, which could cause additional pressure.
Same story from the side of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Rivian executive RJ Scaring, who are concerned about the possibility of a large-scale battery shortage in the next few years, a threat that would clearly become more important than the semiconductor crisis which is still raging today.
The industry should look to other technologies
Unlike the shortage of semiconductors, the shortage of batteries is not linked to factory closures or reduced production caused by the pandemic. If the automotive industry fears a lack of batteries, it is above all because of the rise in the price of materials and the war which is currently raging in Ukraine. We must not forget that Russia is the world’s third largest producer of nickel, a metal used in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries.
The price of metals has literally exploded over the past few months, for both lithium and graphite, which will inevitably push up the price of electric vehicles. This alarm signal could well push manufacturers to turn to other technologies, in particular solid-state batteries.