xEVs and lithium-ion battery trends (1)
Trends at Tesla and demand forecasts for lithium-ion batteries by B3
The 8th International Rechargeable Battery Expo was held from March 1 to March 3, 2017 at Tokyo Big Sight. The expo included an expert seminar that examined the progress of EV development being carried out by automakers, universities, and research institutions, as well as issues, expectations, and the outlook for lithium battery demand. This report will cover the contents of announcements from Tesla, whose Model S placed second in the by model rankings for global EV sales in 2016, as well as demand forecasts and issues related to lithium-ion batteries presented by the Brain of Battery Business (B3) Corporation, an automotive rechargeable battery research company.
Tesla, which is currently making preparations in anticipation of the scheduled start of production for its Model 3 in July 2017, described the status of its Gigafactory, a facility that will produce 35 GWh worth of batteries annually. Additionally, Tesla announced that it will strive to achieve a reduction of 30% or more in battery costs, and explained its initiative to go to the start of the supply chain to investigate the cost of raw materials for batteries and the procurement status of materials such as lithium, graphite, and cobalt. As EVs are expected to grow in popularity over the next 10 to 15 years, the question of whether issues with battery costs and supply can be overcome has been thrown into sharp relief.
According to estimates by the B3 Corporation, demand for lithium-ion batteries, including both mobile devices and EVs, will reach 100 GWh in 2017. Globally, ZEV regulations in the U.S. and CO2 regulations in Europe are expected to be factors that will drive EV sales. In order to satisfy regulations, there will have to be 9 million xEVs by 2021, and 16 million by 2026, meaning the amount of lithium-ion batteries needed will be 180 GWh in 2021 and 450 to 500GWh in 2026. This raises many questions about whether such amounts can be supplied globally, how recycling should be carried out, and what level of quality should be aimed for.