An robot manufacturer-sponsored report predicted plans for 80 new EV battery gigafactories were insufficient and highlighted, unsurprisingly, the role of automation in meeting demand as EVs are predicted to overtake ICE-powered vehicles by 2036.

According to Electric Vehicle Battery Supply Chain Analysis, sponsored by ABB Robotics and authored by Ultima Media, while 2036 is the changeover year when all electric passenger vehicles are predicted to overtake sales of ICE equivalents, concerns over EV battery supply to meet the escalation in demand poses serious risk to the growth of electricity as a clean propulsion fuel, despite plans for 80 new global battery gigafactories.

Although Asia led electric vehicle battery production, Europe would make up vital ground over the next few years while US manufacturers were also planning increases in capacity.

Battery pack assembly located close to or within car assembly facilities is important.

Co-locating battery pack assembly not only boosts sustainability by reducing transportation, it increases flexibility.  A cellular approach to production is easily integrated alongside existing lines. If the demand curve moves, cells can be added or removed quickly to maintain accurate production scale.

Building a robust battery supply chain would create a distinct competitive advantage for OEMs, setting a trend towards maximum production flexibility, whether battery pack production is insourced or outsourced, to further reduce costs and boost productivity.

The high price of EVs would increasingly create a barrier to further market penetration, reducing vehicle cost has therefore become a whole-industry focus. Given that the battery represents up to a third of vehicle costs, battery manufacturing productivity must be improved.

Higher productivity and lower costs are driven by assembling battery cells straight into packs.

The report examines the current and future state of EV battery supplies – sources of materials, technologies available, demand analysis and potential risks.