Automakers continue to grapple with a shortage of semiconductor products, but it seems that a new crisis is not far off, which, according to experts, will affect American companies. According to experts, the next crisis in the supply chain of automakers from the United States will be caused by a shortage of lithium-ion batteries. CNBC writes about this with reference to data obtained from experts familiar with the situation in the industry.
The report says that not only large companies such as General Motors or Ford are increasing ambitions related to the expansion of electric vehicle production, but also numerous startups developing electric vehicles. According to experts, this will lead to the fact that the current production of batteries in the United States will not be enough to meet demand.
While several large lithium-ion battery factories operate in the United States, including the Tesla Gigafactory, which is working in partnership with Panasonic, a trade dispute between South Korean battery manufacturers LG Chem and SK Innovation threatens the future of SK Innovation’s new battery factory in Georgia. Currently, this plant is almost completed and can be commissioned at the end of this year.
CNBC notes that the main production of lithium-ion batteries is currently concentrated in China, and there it is expanding significantly faster than in the United States. One expert notes that while in the United States one plant for the production of batteries is built every four weeks, in China, similar plants are commissioned every week. This suggests that the pace of development of the Chinese battery production corresponds to modern realities, and the US is lagging behind in this regard. Currently, there are 93 large battery factories in the Celestial Empire, and only four in the United States. If this trend continues in the coming years, American companies will have to rely on imported batteries from China, which, according to CNBC, is not only impractical, but also hurts the country’s national security.
Experts believe that in order to get out of this situation, the United States needs to build internal production and supply chains, starting from the extraction of raw materials for the production of batteries domestically. Tesla is moving in this direction, which has already received permission to mine lithium in Nevada. Experts are confident that the accelerated pace of development of battery production within the country, as well as independent extraction of raw materials, can correct the situation.
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