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Global EV Battery Production Gains Momentum

Government decarbonization targets are specific goals set to significantly reduce or eliminate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. These targets are a critical component of global efforts to combat current climate change risks.

Governments establish these goals to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change by promoting the adoption of renewable energy sources, enhancing energy efficiency, and sustainable transportation.

These targets typically involve setting a timeline with measurable milestones to track progress and ensure accountability toward a cleaner, healthier planet for future generations.

Electric Vehicle Market Development

With the growing government decarbonization targets, Electric Vehicle (EV) production will increase rapidly this decade. New EV adoption will require a corresponding growth in EV battery output.

According to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research, global EV battery output production will increase nearly six times to 2,585 GWh by 2030.

"Battery cost and production volume are the key barriers to adoption for EVs. The most important technologies are, therefore, those that make batteries cheaper or easier to manufacture at scale," said Dylan Khoo, industry analyst at ABI Research.

Revolutionary technologies such as solid-state batteries promise improved ranges and reduced charging times, generating much media attention, but are too expensive and difficult to manufacture.

According to the ABI assessment, battery developments this decade will most likely focus on evolutionary improvements on current lithium-ion batteries. 

The most advanced lithium-ion batteries currently available can achieve 1,000 km of range or charge in under 20 minutes.

Further improvements will be made through technologies like the full silicon anodes developed by companies such as Sila, expected to be delivered by 2025.

Solid-state batteries are unlikely to significantly impact this decade because their adoption would require changes to cell design and manufacturing -- unlike improvements on existing lithium-ion battery technology.

This EV battery boom will put pressure on supplies of raw materials. From 2022 to 2030, there will be a 5.3x increase in demand for lithium and a 3.2x increase in demand for cobalt for EV batteries.

Reducing the consumption of these critical minerals is an essential goal for battery manufacturers, particularly cobalt, due to its volatile supply and unethical practices involved in its mining.

The average cobalt content of EV batteries will decrease by 44 percent by 2030. Improved pack assembly techniques, such as cell-to-pack (C2P) technology, will increase the overall energy density of cobalt-free Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP), allowing them to be used in more applications.

Outlook for EV Battery R&D Innovation

ABI analysts believe that Cobalt content can also be reduced by increasing overall energy density with high-nickel Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) cathodes.

"There are EVs with long ranges and EVs that can charge quickly, but there are no EVs that cost the same as their fossil fuel counterparts. Evolutionary improvements over current lithium-ion battery technology will be essential to reduce the cost of EVs and achieve industrywide electrification targets," concludes Khoo.

That said, I believe the widespread adoption of EVs can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and support government decarbonization targets. Additionally, it can stimulate innovation, enhance energy security, and foster a more sustainable global energy ecosystem.

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