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The Big Story: For EV Batteries, Future Is Now

The Big Story: For EV Batteries, Future Is Now

Developers are working feverishly on solid-state, lithium-air and other advanced technologies, but the growing manufacturing infrastructure, improving range and rapidly declining costs are making Li-ion batteries tough to beat.

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.

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