That’s the question raised by a very thoughtful piece on Green Car Reports, that as sales of electric cars continues to grow, we’re going to need to make more batteries.
“That much is obvious,” according to the story by Anthony Ingram. “But just how much is battery demand expected to grow by over the coming years?”
Ingram cites data showing that existing capacity for lithium-ion battery production will grow tenfold by 2020. “But growth in demand for full battery-electric vehicles--which use larger battery packs than plug-in hybrids or regular hybrid vehicles, and will therefore lead demand--will require significant growth in production.”
(The photo of the 2014 Chevy Spark EV is copyright General Motors.)
Bottom line? “Provided extra factories come on-stream--particularly Tesla's vast battery gigafactory, there's no reason to expect that demand for lithium-ion batteries should outstrip supply,” Ingram wrote. “And electric vehicle sales should continue to grow as a result.”
Meanwhile, a few days ago, Ford announced a new research collaboration with Samsung to make better hybrid batteries.
One focus on the collaboration is a dual-battery system that combines “a lithium-ion battery with a 12-volt lead-acid battery that could enable regenerative braking technology in non-hybrid vehicles for greater fuel savings,” according to a report on Eco-Business.com.
“Ford and Samsung also are researching a longer-term ultra-lightweight lithium-ion battery that could one day render traditional lead-acid batteries obsolete,” the report said. “The research advances lithium-ion battery technology currently available on Ford’s electrified vehicles.”