Challenges loom as battery suppliers eye EV boom

A lack of battery producers positioned to the west leaves automakers in a vulnerable position. Localisation is firmly on the agenda, writes Freddie Holmes

There have been indications that the battery supply chain has struggled to keep pace with demand for new electric vehicles (EVs), at least in Europe and North America. Lengthy waiting lists for new orders and reports of delayed deliveries would back up the sentiment.

Can the EV battery supply chain keep up with demand?

In recent years, automakers such as Kia, Jaguar and Audi have reported issues in this regard. Some have had to delay deliveries of sought-after models like the e-Niro, or in Jaguar’s case, temporarily halt production of the I-PACE at Magna Steyr’s contract manufacturing site in Austria. These issues are often attributed to ‘battery shortages’ at the supplier level, and more specifically, sourcing cell modules in high volumes. These larger orders can be multi-billion euro contracts, and they rely on a supply chain that is currently dominated by Southeast Asia.

One battery supplier believes the supply chain has coped with demand, but warns that major shortages could be on the horizon as…