New research from technology intelligence firm ABI Research finds that global Electric Vehicle (EV) battery output production will increase nearly six times by 2030. With aggressive government decarbonization targets and OEM electrification strategies, EV production will significantly increase this decade, requiring a corresponding growth in EV battery output.
“Battery cost and production volume are the key barriers to adoption for EVs,” says Dylan Khoo, EV industry analyst at ABI Research. “The most important technologies are, therefore, those that make batteries cheaper or easier to manufacture at scale. Revolutionary technologies such as solid-state batteries promise improved ranges and reduced charging times, generating much media attention, but are too expensive and difficult to manufacture. Battery developments this decade will focus on evolutionary improvements on current lithium-ion batteries.”
The most advanced lithium-ion batteries currently available can achieve 1,000 km of range or charge in under 20 minutes. Further improvements will be made through technologies like fully silicon anodes developed by companies such as Sila, expected to be delivered as soon as 2025.
Solid-state batteries are unlikely to significantly impact this decade because their adoption would require changes in cell design and manufacturing, unlike improvements on existing lithium-ion battery technology.
This EV battery boom will put pressure on supplies of raw materials. From 2022 to 2030, there will be a 5.3x increase in demand for lithium and a 3.2x increase in demand for cobalt for EV batteries. Reducing the consumption of these critical minerals is an essential goal for battery manufacturers, particularly cobalt, due to its volatile supply and unethical practices involved in its mining.
The average cobalt content of EV batteries will decrease by 44% by 2030. Improved pack assembly techniques, such as cell-to-pack (C2P) technology, will increase the overall energy density of cobalt-free Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP), allowing them to be used in more applications. Cobalt content can also be reduced by increasing overall energy density with Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) cathodes.
“There are EVs with long ranges and EVs that can charge quickly, but there are no EVs that cost the same as their fossil fuel counterparts,” says Khoo. “Evolutionary improvements over current lithium-ion battery technology will be essential to reduce the cost of EVs and achieve industrywide electrification targets.”
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