Little by little, the automobile companies are making self-aggrandizing advertisements in which you see a quick change of paradigm. Now the first manufacturer worldwide, Volkswagen, intends to sell 25% of electric cars or plug-in hybrids with a view to 2025. By then Volvo no longer going to manufacture conventional models.
The Swedish company -capital chinese – only will have by then semihíbridos, plug-in hybrids or electric; which is the same thing, all with electric motors of greater or lesser power. One of the hurdles to overcome is how to sell both electric, but there is another important, how to produce them?
right Now the only manufacturer that has in mind the mass production of electric Tesla, and to a lesser extent, the Alliance Renault Nissan. The american company has a gigafactoría which already produces 35 GWh of batteries a year, but in 2020 will have a production of 100 GWh.
Volkswagen estimates that for 2025 will need an annual production of 200 GWh, as stated Ulrich Eichhorn -responsible for r & D of VW – a couple of weeks ago. In June of 2016 was the same Matthias Müller who made a forecast of 150 GWh for 2025.
In other words, only VW needs several gigafactorías battery
For a manufacturer as large it would not be a major problem to get similar production by using their own resources, even considering the Dieselgate the money does not seem to be a problem.
¿What would happen if the other manufacturers get 25% of sales of electric by 2025? Then the problem grows a little, it would take 1,5 TWh or 1,500 GWh. That equates to 40 gigafactorías as the Tesla (with its current capacity), or 15 with the ability that you will need in 2020.
Nor was it likely to be a problem with lithium than is available in the world. According to the Geological Institute of the united States, reserves are quantified on a total of 41 million tons and in 2014 it produced 26.100 tons according to the Geological Institute of the Uk. There is margin to spare.
Yes you can be more worrying how concentrated that production. According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, in 2020 the world production of lithium batteries is divided between four countries: China (62%, or 108 GWh), USA (22% or 38 GWh), South Korea (13% or 23 GWh) and Poland (3%, or 5 GWh).
Eye, do not confuse the production of batteries (final goods) with ore extraction of lithium (raw material), concentrated in other countries. According to this same source, in 2020 the world production of batteries will be 174 GWh, which is the case which you will need to only Volkswagen in 2025, or six times more than it produced last year.
Forecast of production of batteries by 2020 – to NOTE: The gigafactoría of Tesla to account as future production and is not included in 2016
Another question that we ask is what we will continue depending on the same battery technology by then? Difficult to specify. The new generation of batteries is in the laboratories and it is not known with certainty when it will be ready. And what happens with all the current? Will be recycled by legally-binding and because it is cost effective to do so.
With improved technologies can increase the energy density of batteries, that is to say, you can cram more capacity in the same volume or the same weight. This will translate into batteries are lighter, smaller, and with more load capacity.
The problems of autonomy of the electrical are working in two directions: batteries more capable, yes, but also reloads faster. What we now understand as fast charging (40 kW) can stay short in 2025, already shuffled upload speeds higher than that of the supercargadores Tesla (120 kW).
For the automotive industry starts to be a value acceptable to have 400-500 kilometers of autonomy with 60 to 100 kWh of batteries on board. For the long trips you will need fast recharging, with cost and a minimum pause in the journey. Recharging at home will continue to be slow (up to 7 kW) for many years.
If in half an hour you can achieve an autonomy extra 200-300 kilometers away, the distance will be feasible using electricity. Let us also not forget another line of research, the charging by induction when driving and even be able to capture solar energy at an acceptable rate, in both cases the batteries will be downloaded more slowly.
Except that the mineral of lithium trigger price (which today is very volatile), if the production of batteries continues to masificando, the prices will push to the low. Therefore, will be more affordable to buy an electric car in the next decade, but with more autonomy than a modern one, and under penalty in space and weight.