How can we resolve EV battery supply issues?

Written by: Jane Marsh

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The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the global supply chain. Many industries still experience residual effects from the lockdown and labor shortages. One sector facing production challenges from supply chain deficiencies is electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing.

Countries are developing ambitious sustainability goals influencing the EV industry’s expansion. Engineers and environmental scientists search for long-term solutions to EV battery supply chain issues. Improving supply chain challenges could help shrink the transportation sector’s carbon footprint.

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Battery Supply Chain Issues

One supply chain issue limiting EV battery production is mining and refining deficiencies. Few companies are collecting lithium for battery manufacturing, which limits the number of products companies can produce. There are minimal miners extracting lithium from the planet because it is a finite resource.

Many mining companies also decrease their lithium mining projects because of the adverse ecological effects. Companies are working towards more sustainable production practices, which diverge from environmentally destructive methods. Lithium mining releases contaminants into local water sources, which kills marine life, vegetation and nearby livestock.

Another issue impacting the supply chain is the increasing demand for vehicle upgrades. Consumers are upgrading their vehicles to increase their efficiencies and decrease pollution. Manufacturers struggle to meet eco-consumer demands with minimal resources.

Using Alternative Materials

EV professionals are challenging low production rates by developing batteries with alternative materials. One technological innovation improving the manufacturing sector is hydrogen fuel cell batteries. Manufacturers can use green hydrogen to produce fuel cell batteries for EVs without producing greenhouse gas emissions.

They may also use gold nanowire gel electrolyte batteries to sustainably power EVs and decrease their reliance on lithium. The gel material also reduces batteries’ flammability and expands charging capabilities. Electrolyte batteries can exceed 100,000 charges throughout their lifetimes.

Increasing EV batteries’ longevity can decrease production and material demands. Decreasing manufacturing demands may conserve materials and limit supply chain stress.

Improving Supply Chain Efficiencies

Professionals can also improve the global supply chain’s efficiency to minimize manufacturing deficiencies. Producers should secure their access to technologies protected with international patents. Increasing individuals’ freedom to operate may reduce production limitations from political issues.

Manufacturers can also solely gather battery production materials from non-depletable resources. Using renewable materials to manufacture EV batteries improve long-term production practices. It also enhances the sustainability of EVs.

Electric cars have the smallest carbon footprint of any vehicle on the market. Expanding manufacturing practices with non-depletable resources can help consumers transition away from gas-powered transportation.

Benefits of Improving EV Battery Technologies

Improving the supply chain for EV battery production can help countries decarbonize their transportation sectors. The Biden-Harris Administration relies on EV manufacturing projects to meet their electric transportation movement. EV battery advancements also benefit society’s health and wellbeing. Individuals can protect themselves from lung cancer and other respiratory conditions by decreasing their reliance on fossil fuels. Other individuals may adopt EVs to access more cost-effective transportation options. EVs’ ecological and economic advantages increase the demand for long-term, sustainable battery manufacturing.

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