Full Title: The EV Battery Supply Chain Explained
Author(s): Alessandra R. Carreon
Publisher(s): Rocky Mountain Institute
Publication Date: May 5, 2023
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The transportation sector is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the US economy, and about half its emissions come from light-duty vehicles alone. To avoid the disastrous effects of a 1.5°C increase in global temperatures, we will need to replace the more than 300 million internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles currently on the road with electric vehicles (EVs). Today, there are about 2.5 million EVs on US roads; this number will need to increase to 44 million by 2030 if we are to reach net-zero emissions. Every one of these 44 million cars will need to be powered by an electric battery produced in a long, complex process involving mining, refining, production, and assembly.
While research findings predicting expected growth in EV demand varies, there is consensus that it is expanding and will continue to do so: S&P Global Mobility forecasts EV sales in the United States alone could reach 40 percent of total passenger car sales by 2030, and more optimistic projections foresee EV sales surpassing 50 percent by 2030. To meet this increasing demand for EVs, governments, policymakers, and public and private sectors around the world will need to strengthen supply chains to rapidly scale production of EV batteries.
By providing this overview of the EV battery supply chain, the challenges it faces, and opportunities to improve it, we hope to give local and national governments, policymakers, and private and public sector actors a starting-point resource they can use to further explore these important issues.