#91 – Inside Our Industry – EVs Are Here to Stay

Posted on | Inside Our Industry

AreaDevelopment.com’s Automotive Sector featured two articles relating to electric vehicles. Without a doubt, if you plan to buy a new vehicle in the next five years, an electric vehicle will be a very viable option. Following are some key excerpts from each post, with a link to the complete article included.

Auto Giants Race to Build U.S. EV Battery Assembly Plants (Jack Rogers)

More than $20 billion worth of new EV battery assembly facilities are being built in the U.S., but 90 percent of battery components are imported, and Tesla is busy preparing for a global shortage of lithium battery cells

North American automotive OEMs have made a powerful commitment to establish a domestic supply chain for the millions of electric-vehicle (EV) batteries that will be needed to meet their goal of converting at least half of the U.S. market to EVs by 2030.

Since the beginning of last year, nearly a dozen big-ticket EV battery plant projects involving capital expenditures of more than $1 billion have had ground broken or been announced, with at least two more expected later this year. Cumulatively, Detroit’s Big Three have initiated battery assembly plant projects totaling $17 billion.

Despite all of the new U.S. battery assembly plants in the pipeline — and regardless of how big a splash Tesla makes with its full production lines for lithium battery cells — the overall global balance of power in the EV battery supply chain is not expected to shift dramatically between now and 2030. EV industry analysts projected last year that lithium battery production capacity in Asia will increase to 1,624 GWh by 2030, more than seven times larger than the projected EV battery capacity in North America.


Driving Into An Electric Vehicle Future
(Steve Kaelble)

The transition to EVs will bring mega investments and thousands of jobs to some communities while disrupting makers of ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles, the communities in which they’re located, as well as their employees.

It seems like the ultimate good-news story. The shift toward electric vehicles will greatly improve the long-term climate health of the planet. It’ll improve human health, too, by reducing pollution. It’ll create thousands of jobs in new industries, with new manufacturing operations lifting local economies. What’s not to like?

Don’t forget that disruptive technologies are, well, disruptive. One person’s opportunity, one community’s economic development win, quite often means disruption for someone else’s livelihood and some other community’s economy. The story is only starting to unfold, but the transition to electric vehicles, or EVs, is shaping up to be the automotive industry’s most important story going forward.

“If you are making headliners, sunroofs, and certain interior components, you might be largely unaffected,” agrees Bernard Swiecki, director of research at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and director of its Automotive Communities Partnership. “But if you are making powertrain components or fuel tanks, that’s going to impact your bottom line.”

The transition to EVs will certainly bring challenges and disruptions, but it’s real and here to stay.