Rivian Automotive Inc. Chief Executive RJ Scaringe is warning that the auto industry could soon face a looming shortage of battery supplies for electric vehicles—a challenge that he says could surpass the current computer-chip shortage.
Car companies are trying to lock up limited supplies of raw materials like cobalt, lithium and nickel that are key to battery making, and many are constructing their own battery plants to put more battery-powered models in showrooms.
said building enough batteries will be among the biggest hurdles for an industry trying to boost electric-vehicle sales from a few million today to tens of millions within the decade. The shortages will occur everywhere from the mining of raw materials, to processing them, to building the battery cells themselves, he said. Read more about the chip shortage.
“Put very simply, all the world’s cell production combined represents well under 10% of what we will need in 10 years,” Scaringe said last week, while giving reporters a tour of the company’s plant in Normal, Ill. “Meaning, 90% to 95% of the supply chain does not exist,” he added.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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