Still not completely behind semiconductor problema new murmur of crisis circulates among the large offices of automobile manufacturers: there will not be enough batteries for all electric cars that they can manufacture.
This future, which remains in the mind of Elon Musk and recently ventured by the founder of Rivian RJ Scaringeis also a short-term reality for the CEO of Stellantis Carlos Tavares, who warns that this shortage may become a serious problem from 2025.
A review of the whole picture
Tavares has left this dark prophecy during his appearance at the conference ‘Future of the Car 2022’ Hosted by the Financial Times. From his point of view, the problems in the supply of batteries can be easily deduced of the current problems that their suppliers (such as LG or CATL) are experimenting to obtain the minerals that compose them.
A) Yes, rising prices of lithium, nickel and manganese it is the first step of a threat that is already on the table, although for Tavares its effects will manifest themselves with all their intensity in 2025 or 2026. At that time, according to his vision, the scarcity of these ‘rare earths’ it will be consumed
And if for some reason it is not fulfilled, he adds that “there will be significant dependence on the western world with respect to Asia”, alluding to the fact that this continent concentrates the majority of the world’s battery production.
And it is that, for the head of Stellantis, the removal of raw materials takes place at too high a rate as a result of the high demand for electric vehicles. Something that, in his opinion, may even lead to geopolitical conflicts long-term: “We may not like the way those raw materials are going to be sourced for years to come.”
For all these reasons, Tavares closed his speech wondering if the responsible agents of the electrification of the automobile had previously noticed this risk: “Where is the clean energy? Where are the raw materials? […]. Who is looking at the big picture of this transformation?“. A subtle way to ask for an in-depth review of the transformation that the automotive industry is taking on.
Thus, dependence on third parties, be they suppliers or countries, for the supply of batteries is a headache that can only get bigger for brands. Hence, some like Tesla try to anticipate it assuming without intermediaries this part of its production chain: even before entering the mining businesshave already been able to acquire on their own 95% of the lithium they used in 2021.