Lithium-Ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles 2020-2030

               Electric vehicles and their batteries are becoming a far larger business than most realise. Lithium-ion batteries are the clear winner, with only a few percent of their business threatened by alternatives such as other advanced batteries and supercapacitors even in 2030. To understand that, the whole opportunity from land, water and air to hybrid and pure electric vehicles must be reappraised. Enter the 140+ page IDTechEx report, “Lithium-Ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles 2020-2030” which uses detailed new infograms and graphs to present the full picture in an easily assimilated form.
        The largest market for lithium-ion batteries LIB is and will remain electric vehicles, mainly cars, from 2020-2030. In these applications they almost always have the best compromise of performance, cost, weight and size. However, there are surprises revealed when a careful, fact-based analysis is carried out. In 2030, the EV market leaps to over $3 billion but with cars losing share and burgeoning demand for much smaller and much larger battery packs than those used in cars. The report calculates LIB demand if supplies are unconstrained and prices competitive, revealing that current commitments to Gigafactory building are woefully inadequate for meeting this in only a few years from now.
       Both the cell and the pack demand are forecasted. Indeed, the detail goes down to 100 types of EV by year and the way engineers are working round the excessive percentage of vehicle cost represented by the battery. One conclusion is that, thanks to energy harvesting on-board, top up charging and other factors, the batteries will drop to only 18% of the ex-factory price of the vehicles in 2030. That is still a huge demand, way in excess of battery manufacturing commitments.

        Squaring the circle will come from new commitments such as Thailand possibly installing nearly 100GWh of production and sadly setbacks reducing demand. For example, the industry is cutting corners in changing every aspect of the battery while scaling up rapidly and IDTechEx appraises that fires and shutdowns will sometimes result. There are potential shortages of materials and other issues identified in the report because this is sober analysis not evangelism for the industry. For example, IDTechEx argues that cell cost cannot continue to drop sharply as more expensive materials are introduced in the pursuance of higher energy density. Voltage, thermal management and other battery trends are appraised.
        The Executive Summary and Conclusions of the report includes ten primary conclusions and forecasts for 11 years of pack number, unit kWh and gross GWh for each of 100 categories of hybrid and pure electric vehicle, land, water and air. It is the only analysis available anywhere in the world with this level of detail. For a quick read, the 13 most important sub-categories for 2030 are summarised and cell and pack cost reduction are predicted. 15 issues and remedies for LIB fires are listed.

        The Introduction then gives basics, background, problems to be addressed, gigafactory commitments, how currently planned capacity may be apportioned between vehicle and other applications and the situation in China, the largest country market. Trends to greater ruggedness, cost reduction and in some cases less or no battery are explained. Chapter 4 concerns increasing energy density. Chapter 5 addresses supercapacitors as competition and as an enhancer of LIB. Chapter 6 is on the vital matter of LIB safety and Chapter 7 reveals LIB manufacture and its issues.