Battery production lags e-mobility upswing, report says

April 28, 2021 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Battery production lags e-mobility upswing, report says
A report commissioned by automation group ABB predicts that the 80 gigafactories currently planned for electric vehicle battery production will not be enough to meet global demand for e-cars in the future.

The Electric Vehicle Battery Supply Chain Analysis report - commissioned by ABB Robotics and produced by the automotive intelligence team at Ultima Media - says: "2036 is likely to be the year when more all-electric passenger cars are sold than internal combustion engine vehicles." Concerns about sufficient battery supply are rising and pose a serious risk to the growth of e-mobility - despite the fact that 80 gigafactories for battery production are being planned worldwide.

The report also highlights that Asia is currently leading in battery production for e-vehicles, but Europe will make up important ground in the coming years. Meanwhile, US manufacturers are also planning capacity expansions.

To give battery production a boost, ABB is proposing greater automation of production processes. "Automation plays a key role in increasing safety, quality and traceability in manufacturing and producing batteries cost-efficiently. All this is crucial for the further establishment of electric vehicles," says Tanja Vainio, head of ABB Robotics' global Auto Tier 1 business line. "Our cell-based production architecture enables manufacturers to quickly validate a cell design and then roll out production cells with consistent quality, safety and productivity standards worldwide." Production speed and flexibility, Vainio said, are important paramaters for the battery industry's continued growth.

The report's authors point out the importance of battery pack assembly being in close geographic proximity to or within vehicle assembly facilities.

"Integrating battery pack assembly reduces transport costs and thus contributes to sustainability. In addition, robotic cell-oriented manufacturing is easier to integrate into existing lines. "When the demand curve shifts, cells can be added or removed quickly to meet the exact production volume," adds Vainio. "We believe that building a robust battery supply chain gives carmakers a distinct competitive advantage and triggers a trend towards maximum production flexibility because it can further reduce costs and increase productivity - whether battery pack production is done

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