So, Who Holds All The Cards To Enable The Switch To Electric?
The switch to electric power is coming, about that there’s no question, but the production of the electric car is currently relient on a product that China holds the cards to.
You see China produces 75% of the worlds graphite, and current lithium car batteries use 40% of the stuff in their construction.
Brussels is concerned that the EU auto industry, which employs 13m people, could be left behind in the race to build mass market electric vehicles because of their reliance on batteries from Asia-Financial Times
Rise in Local Demand.
China home car market is also on the drive for electrification and has seen a sharp increase of up-to 97% in demand for New-energy passenger vehicle sales from January to October 2018.
In November 2018, Beijing Automobile Works, who are China’s second-largest electric car maker, debuted six electric vehicle models. Amongst those cars a car designated the EX3, which is a SUV that can travel 600 km (370 miles) on a single charge and out accelerate a Tesla Model X.
As China produces 60 percent of the words battery’s, and 80 percent of a crucial component of all batteries, then it seems inevitable that it’s going to take centre stage as the world switches to electric powered vehicles over the next 20 Years.
Although at the current rate of progress we’d have to say there’s a possibility of that government goal of ending petrol and diesel production by 2040 being brought forward.
The Chinese government has set a sales target of 2 million new-energy vehicles in 2020, but the industry is projected to exceed that based on automakers publicly available production plans.
After helping speed up the push towards electric with is appalling emissions scandal,Volkswagen have be quietly building an electric car plant in Shanghai at a cost of $2.45 billion.
This will be Its first factory specifically designed for the production of its new MEB platform for all-electric vehicles and will have a capacity of 300,000 cars per year from 2020.
Tesla’s Elon Musk obviously understands where the power lies and has already signed a deal with the government of Shanghai to build batteries and cars there. Musk throughout 2018, had repeatedly said Tesla was close to announcing a new plant in China, where he has said the company would make both electric vehicles and their batteries. The new plant is expected to initially make 250,000 vehicles a year.
A google search reveals that Ford who have been relatively quiet on the scene up until now, plans to release 16 fully electric vehicles within a global portfolio of 40 electrified vehicles by 2022.
Rest Of The World
Indications of the sheer scale of the drive for electric power are popping up all over the world.
Other than the obvious Tesla, A Chinese car company CH-Auto, conscious of Trumps trade war side stepped his tariffs by planning to have an all electric sports car, the Qiantu K50, built in the US.
Up to 10,000 new jobs could be created in Coventry after £80 million of government funding was announced for a national centre to develop batteries for the electric vehicles of the future.
The National Battery Manufacturing Development Facility (NBMDF) is seen as a key building block for Coventry to become the UK’s Motor City once again – and lead the world in electric vehicle technology.
Russia, one of the world’s largest oil exporters, is not exactly a “green” country. But back in 2011, it opened the world’s largest lithium battery plant as a joint Russian-Chinese venture
Swedish company Northvolt plans to spend $4.7bn on a Nordic plant, as the Norwegian government announced that demand for electric vehicles there was outstripping supply.
TerraE has announced two plants at undisclosed locations in Germany.
With every manufacturer chasing an electric future just how is battery production going to keep pace?
Not to mention the growing industrial and home uses of battery storage solutions for applications such as solar power storage on an industrial and domestic scale.
Elon Musk may have build one of the worlds biggest battery productions centres in the world in the USA, but he still currently relies on Chinese Graphite and Japanese technology (Panasonic) to build them.
As does every other lithium battery manufacturer.
It’s not hard to see how the politics that once protected our access to the world’s oil supplies will have to shift to make sure we have excess to to the markets that we need for batteries.
Expect every world leader to claim their special relationship with the Chinese government as we move forward into the new era.