With aggressive government decarbonization targets and OEM electrification strategies, Electric Vehicle (EV) production will majorly increase this decade. This will require a corresponding growth in EV battery output. New research from global technology intelligence firm ABI Research finds that global EV battery output production will increase nearly six times to 2,585 GWh by 2030.
“Battery cost and production volume are the key barriers to adoption for EVs. 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,” says Dylan Khoo, Electric Vehicles Industry Analyst at ABI Research.
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 the 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 high-nickel 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. Evolutionary improvements over current lithium-ion battery technology will be essential to reduce the cost of EVs and achieve industrywide electrification targets,” concludes Khoo.
These findings are from ABI Research’s Next-Generation Electric Vehicle Batteries application analysis report. This report is part of the company’s Electric Vehicles research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights. Based on extensive primary interviews, Application Analysis reports present an in-depth analysis of key market trends and factors for a specific technology.
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