Tesla Gigafactory 1 Nevada is well known as the world biggest lithium ion battery plant, producing countless number of battery cells for their high demand Model S, 3, X. But situation is not the same for other traditional automakers.
The battery is the main element of an electric car. If the manufacturer does not have a battery, then it does not have an electric car. Unfortunately, as practice shows, electric vehicle manufacturers often face the problem of lack of batteries.
According to The Sunday Times, Jaguar I-Pace has a problem: it runs out of batteries. Jaguar has been shutting down SUV production at its factory in Graz, Austria for a week starting February 10, due to a shortage of lithium-ion batteries. I-Pace batteries are supplied by the South Korean electronic giant LG Chem, which manufactures them at a factory in Wroclaw, Poland.
Jaguar’s troubles reflect the struggle of automakers to meet the growing demand for electric cars and reduce emissions by relying on fragile supply chains.
In January, Reuters announced that Mercedes was halving production plans for the EQC EV due to battery shortages. The company has denied this article, but let's look at the facts. Previously, Mercedes announced plans to sell about 25,000 EQC cars in 2019 alone, but was able to produce only about 7,000 due to the lack of battery cells. This is a significant difference that makes you think about whether to trust the company in its production plans.
Along with the problems of Mercedes, Audi, in late January, also experienced difficulties with the lack of batteries for its E-Tron. It officially announced that in the first quarter of 2020, 4,100 - 5,700 less electric vehicles will be produced, because the manufacturer is experiencing problems with suppliers of parts for batteries.
Now the Audi plant in Brussels works only 6 hours a day instead of the prescribed 8. According to the company representative, the delay in deliveries can be from 2 to 6-7 months.
All the major automakers who so much hoped their product would become Tesla killer ended up with a problem.
Electric cars, thanks to Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk, began to enjoy great popularity. He literally made the world pay attention to the fact that transport can be environmentally friendly at the same time, look amazing and have high performance. This message resonated in the minds of people, and interest in electric cars began to grow rapidly. At the same time, governments around the world saw the main advantages of electric vehicles in front of fossil fuel cars and began to strive to clear their territories from ICE vehicles harmful effects.
The UK is poised to ban hybrid and all other petrol-powered vehicles by 2035. The date originally set for the ban was 2040, but the UK government moved up the date after experts said that it would be too late by then for the country to achieve its zero-carbon-emissions goal for 2050.
At the same time, in Australia the Electric Vehicle Council Executive Director (EVC) Behyad Jafari and the principal clean energy transition advisor for Ernst and Young, Matt Rennie urged government to follow the UK.
China and European countries adhere to the same strategy. Governments around the world are moving towards electrify. Electric transport has undeniable social benefits, such as improved air quality and related health benefits, as well as reduced carbon emissions.
In a situation of increased demand, new automakers will certainly experience a lack of rechargeable batteries for their electric vehicles. The only sure way for them is to follow Tesla’s example and invest huge amounts of money in R&D, and perhaps in a few years they will succeed and they will be able to freely produce batteries in quantities that satisfy their needs.