As the Electric Vehicles (EVs) segment heats up, EV battery packs are a market with much potential. In fact, EV battery pack shipments are expected to reach 30 million in 2027, as mobility electrification gains speed.
Right now, EVs use lithium-ion batteries, mainly made with lithium, cobalt, manganese and high-grade nickel, whose prices have risen. However, the future looks bleak for Western producers who expect supply challenges to hit car production in a few years.
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When it comes to battery, US and European startups are competing to develop new batteries using two easily available materials, sodium and sulphur, that could bring down China’s battery supremacy, smoothen impending supply blockages, leading to mass-market EVs.
According to reports, future EVs could be powered by sodium ion or lithium sulphur battery cells that could be up to two-thirds cheaper than today’s lithium-ion cells.
Also, hydrogen is becoming a viable alternative to battery EVs. Research predicts that on-road hydrogen vehicles will exceed 1 million globally by 2027.
The Darker Side of the EV Market
Meanwhile, till EVs really start making true profits, engine parts makers face precarious times where they are forced to invest heavily in new machinery, even as they grapple with falling fossil fuel car sales.
For example, reports of EV makers Lucid Group and Rivian Automotive show they are losing dollars in the hundreds of thousands because of overwhelming raw material and production costs.
All isn’t hunky dory for the consumer as well. A recent Juniper research finds that high EV prices deter over 60% of UK and US potential buyers.
The trouble deepens for Western EV makers when we learn that Chinese automakers have plans to boost European sales by producing more affordable EVs with high-tech features. Recently, Chinese automakers have received five-star European New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) ratings.
Global EV Expansion: Big automakers want in
EVs are a segment becoming hotter by the day. According to a Reuters exclusive, the world’s top automakers, including Tesla, Volkswagen, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Toyota have plans of spending close to US$1.2 trillion by 2030 to develop and produce millions of EVs. The plan includes batteries and raw materials to support that production, according to a Reuters analysis of public data and projections released by those companies.
When it comes to big car companies, Toyota has announced the restart of its production of its first electric vehicle, the bZ4X, after fixing potential safety problems that had stopped sales for over three months.
Also, Tesla wants to begin mass production of its Cybertruck at the end of 2023, two years after the actual target for the long-awaited pickup truck unveiled in 2019, a Reuters report said.
However, during the competition between Western manufacturers and Chinese, a few smaller players may get hurt.
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