As more and more auto manufacturers across the world jump into the electric vehicle (EV) game, the demand for battery cells has skyrocketed, causing a worldwide shortage. Even large automakers, like Audi and Hyundai, are struggling with battery supply issues.
Volkswagen, has recently announced that it should have no issues with battery cell supply for a whole new line-up of full-electric cars, at least for the next few years. “I can confirm that for the first years of our plan, a sufficient supply of cells has been contractually secured,” said Thomas Ulbrich, VW brand management board member in charge of electric mobility.
The first car to benefit from VW’s strong battery supplier connections will be the ID.3, which goes into production later this year. The ID.3 is a new family of EV’s by VW that should be available to the first customers in mid-2020.
However, just because the company has secured reliable battery contracts for certain models, it does not mean all of its battery supply worries have been addressed. VW also has plans to roll out an entire new line of ID electric vehicles, with specs that will demand more than 300-gigawatt hours, far exceeding current market capacities.
While VW waits for battery technology to catch up with its vision, there will still be uncertainty as to where these batteries will be coming from in the end, if at all.
In the world of EV battery supply, it’s a kind of the wild west with supplies going to the top bidder. Even Audi had to revise the production numbers for its first EV, the e-tron. Audi originally planned to build over 55,000 e-trons this year, but the number had to be revised to under 46,000 specifically because of battery supply issues.
There just isn’t enough infrastructure yet to support the EV growth we’re experiencing. Currently, EV’s are a losing battle for automakers. They’re often selling the cars at a loss, they’re a hassle to build, and the supply parts are scarce and expensive. Hopefully the world battery market finds some way to increase availability in the next few years, but until then it’s a tough world out there for automakers looking to produce EVs.