The Electro-mobility Index 2018 by the consulting company Roland Berger and the research institute Kraftfahrwesen Aachen (fka) show how the e-mobility market is developing and underlines the looming dependency of automobile manufacturers on battery cell manufacturers.
The index covers the seven biggest EV manufacturing nations: Germany, France, Italy, USA, Japan, China and South Korea, comparing their local environments and developments. The researchers paid heed to three major markers: market, technology and industry, but also integrated the three in a larger total ranking. The USA and China led the current rankings. This was to be expected, however what is interesting are the developments in the battery cell industry.
Capacities for the production of battery cells will increase by up to 1,600 GWh, according to the researchers, as expectations are that around 20 million EVs and hybrids will be on the roads around the world by then. In 2021, a global market volume for battery cells was already predicted to be around $19 billion, where 29% is expected from China, with 21% from South Korea and 17% from Japan.
Germany and Europe were not found to have significant cell production, and dependencies on few suppliers could soon turn into an issue. The battery factories currently under construction will only increase dependency, according to the researchers. They recommend two strategies: Either establishing local capacities for battery cell production, which is very possible given the know-how and investment potential, or setting up a less monopolistic supply structure, by setting up vertical cooperations with resource suppliers and developing solutions for the recycling of old batteries.
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