The anticipated boom in EV battery production will exert pressure on raw material supplies, particularly lithium and cobalt. Between 2022 and 2030, there will be a 5.3x increase in demand for lithium and a 3.2x increase in demand for cobalt for EV batteries, according to ABI Research.
Battery manufacturers will strive to reduce the consumption of these critical minerals, with a particular focus on cobalt due to its volatile supply and unethical mining practices. The average cobalt content of EV batteries is projected to decrease by 44 percent by 2030.
“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,” Dylan Khoo, Electric Vehicles Industry Analyst at ABI Research, said.
Currently, the most advanced lithium-ion batteries achieve a range of 1,000 km or charge in under 20 minutes. Ongoing advancements, including technologies like fully silicon anodes by companies such as Sila, expected by 2025, will further enhance these capabilities. However, solid-state batteries are not anticipated to have a significant impact this decade due to the changes in cell design and manufacturing they require, unlike improvements in existing lithium-ion battery technology.
In response to aggressive government decarbonization objectives and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) electrification strategies, the Electric Vehicle (EV) production landscape is set to undergo a significant transformation this decade. Research from global technology intelligence firm ABI Research highlights a monumental rise in global EV battery production, projected to surge nearly six-fold 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.
The research underscores the crucial role of continuous advancements in lithium-ion battery technology in making EVs more cost-effective and bridging the gap with fossil fuel counterparts, marking a significant stride towards achieving electrification objectives across the automotive industry.