Interesting report from Bloomberg: as demand for Li-Ion batteries increases, we should expect to see affordable Li-Ion become much more widespread and available for other uses – such as portable power in camper vans, etc. While this is on the 5–10 year horizon, it’s interesting to keep tabs on.
We’ve already seen a similar effect with GPS chips, cameras, and other components in the so-called ‘smartphone bounty’.
Lithium-ion batteries have long been used in smartphones, laptops, and other personal electronics, but demand is forecast to explode in the next five years as electric vehicles proliferate and power companies install giant storage systems to smooth the ebb and flow of wind and solar.
Telsa produced nearly 84,000 vehicles in 2016 and has said it plans to make 500,000 in 2018.
While Tesla may be building the biggest and splashiest factory, the Chinese government has launched a sweeping effort to increase the country’s dominant market share.
Roughly 55 percent of global lithium-ion battery production is already based in China, compared with 10 percent in the U.S. By 2021, China’s share is forecast to grow to 65 percent, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
“This is about industrial policy. The Chinese government sees lithium-ion batteries as a hugely important industry in the 2020s and beyond,” Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Colin McKerracher said.
In all, global battery-making capacity is forecast to more than double by 2021 to 273 gigawatt-hours, up from about 103 gigawatt-hours today. That’s a huge opportunity, and China doesn’t want to miss it.