The U.S may be on track to facing a lithium-ion battery shortage in the future as electric car production increases.
The motor vehicle industry is no stranger to such shortages as the sector has been facing chip and semiconductor shortages in the past due to delays in production and supply chains.
However, the issue with lithium-ion batteries may be much more severe as it will not be attributed to delays, instead, the shortage will be caused by a complete lack of supply.
This will cause a supply-chain crisis in the US as well as other nations that are also not adapting to the changing demands, such as the UK, which, although is producing wind turbines, has not attempted in expanding to electric battery production.
The shortage will become a severe issue as firms such as General Motors and Ford are breaking into the electric car market which will significantly increase demand for lithium-ion batteries.
The shortage will be harshly amplified in the UK in particular as in 2030, the purchase of new petrol and diesel cars will be made illegal, consequently, car companies operating in the UK will scramble to switch production to electric vehicles.
Additionally, the infrastructure used in electric vehicles such as charging stations requires these type of batteries, thus making the supply of them even more important as they are necessary for the world to continue down a more environmentally friendly path.
Lithium-ion batteries can also make for the perfect energy store when it comes to renewable sources of energy such as solar panels and wind turbines.
This makes the batteries particularly desirable as they eliminate the uncertainty associated with the energy output of these sources due to their dependence on weather patterns.
Hence, electric battery production will also help innovate energy stores for renewable sources which will make them much more beneficial and pleasing for countries.
A few US firms are already constructing electric batteries, primarily Tesla with the help of Panasonic in its Gigafactory, however, this output will not be enough.
So, we can see why a shortage of electric batteries is so dire, additionally, the lack of specialisation in the area is also saddening to see as there are not enough economies attempting to change specialisation into this new industry.
The economy which does become a major producer of batteries will likely see a large quantity of money coming in due to its valuable exports due to the comparative advantage which it will develop regarding lithium-ion battery production.
The specialisation will also result in higher levels of innovation and efficiency, so, not only will the production of electric batteries bring in a lot of money, but, it will also accelerate the pace at which the global economy can shift towards renewable energy and clean consumption.
If nations do not adapt their production, if change does not come soon, we may face a very dire shortage in future that will cause the price of electric vehicles to skyrocket, thus slowing the pace at which we are able to achieve a net-zero emission goal.
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