What’s up next for electric-vehicle batteries? More of the same, and that means it’s far from over for lithium-ion.
Although there’s much hype around lower-cost, longer-range batteries to come, it’s really just the dawn of the Li-ion era, and there remains considerable untapped potential yet in the technology as automakers seek to develop lower-cost, higher-range EVs.
Battery makers only recently have begun to make big commitments to high-volume Li-ion production, with 12 new or expanded mega-factories reportedly set to come online worldwide by 2020. That includes 120 GWh of new cell capacity in China alone – enough battery power for another 1.5 million EVs annually.
With that level of new investment, the industry likely is chained to Li-ion technology – for better or worse – for most of the coming decade, or even beyond.