The automotive industry is rapidly changing in terms of technology and the way it tackles environmental issues. Electric vehicles (EVs) have been introduced as a clean energy alternative to gas-powered vehicles: they feature low or zero emissions and have become an integral part of an automaker’s business strategies. Automakers are creating separate EV business units to be prepared for the expected demand boom, which will create a need for a huge supply of lithium-ion batteries.
Asian manufacturers have been on top of the lithium-ion battery supply to the EV industry. Major suppliers CATL, BYD, LG Chem, Samsung, and SK Innovation have already ramped up production capacities and have huge targets for the coming years in terms of installed capacities. These suppliers have entered into partnerships or have signed supply contracts with almost all EV manufacturers in the world to help them reach sales targets in order to comply with stringent emission standards. Europe is turning out to be the most attractive production destination because it is already home to many EV manufacturers. CATL has announced plans of expanding its German plant to 100GWh by 2025; it is expected to be the largest plant.
NCM (nickel-cobalt-manganese) is the most desired battery chemistry. Reducing cobalt has been identified as a way to reduce lithium-ion battery production costs, which has given rise to NCM 811 (an NCM ratio of 8:1:1) and is expected to lead to NCM 9:5:5. Automakers will concentrate on suppliers that can meet their aggressive sales targets. They are expected to have more than one battery supplier.