(Roughly) Daily

“Other things stop working or they break, But batteries… they die”*…

There’s been a great deal of talk about semiconductors and the implications of a supply chain that depends too heavily on China– and some action (c.f., e.g., here and here). Fair enough: chips are clearly central to the economy into which we’re growing; assuring access matters. But let us not forget their humble technological cousin, the battery. Batteries power an increasing number of the appliances on which our lives increasingly depend; with the world gearing up for the electric vehicle era, we’re going to need them even more. So it could be an issue that the world is much more reliant on China for batteries than for chips…

Battery manufacturing has become a priority for many nations, including the United States. However, having entered the race for batteries early, China is far and away in the lead… In 2022, China had more battery production capacity than the rest of the world combined…

Global lithium-ion manufacturing capacity is projected to increase eightfold in the next five years… China’s well-established advantage is set to continue through 2027, with 69% of the world’s battery manufacturing capacity…

Battery manufacturing is just one piece of the puzzle, albeit a major one. Most of the parts and metals that make up a battery—like battery-grade lithium, electrolytes, separators, cathodes, and anodes—are primarily made in China.

Therefore, combating China’s dominance will be expensive. According to Bloomberg, the U.S. and Europe will have to invest $87 billion and $102 billion, respectively, to meet domestic battery demand with fully local supply chains by 2030…

More (and a larger version of the graphic above) at “Visualizing China’s Dominance in Battery Manufacturing (2022-2027P),” from @VisualCap.

* Demetri Martin

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As we recharge, we might recall that it was on this date in 1984 that Apple aired an epoch-making commercial, “1984” (directed by Blade Runner director Ridley Scott),  during Superbowl XVIII– for the first and only time.  Two days later, the first Apple Macintosh went on sale…. battery-dependent portables followed a few years later.

Written by (Roughly) Daily

January 22, 2023 at 1:00 am

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