Anjani Trivedi’s View to 2022: EVs, Batteries and Supply Chains
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- What to Expect in 2022:
As the world hurtles into a new year, excitement about the reality of electric vehicles — and the challenge of powering them — will only grow. The future of EV batteries looks uncertain: How will they be manufactured? Will they be safe and, at long last, affordable? The supply chain snarls of 2021 will bleed into next year, only adding to the pressure as global manufacturing becomes more complex. Looming shortages mean prices for key parts will continue to rise, which will hinder technological progress. While governments across the globe attempt to lower costs for consumers, incentives, subsides and policy design will need to be reassessed. Without much real competition, meanwhile, China’s EV-focused industrial firms will continue to march forward.
From the Year Behind Us:
Toyota Broke Its Just-in-Time Rule Just in Time: As global manufacturers grappled with a chip shortage, Toyota largely avoided it. Though the carmaker pioneered the ultra-efficient just-in-time manufacturing policy, it stockpiled as inventories crept up — opportunely ahead of a global semiconductor deficit.
Warren Buffett Knows His EV Batteries: The Sage of Omaha’s bet on China’s BYD Co. looks like it is paying off. Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s
recognition that it’s all about the battery technology defined its position on the future of electric vehicles.
How Did We End Up With This Chip Shortage?: The auto industry and semiconductor manufacturers have gotten their supply and demand calculations badly out of sync. The result? Carmakers couldn’t make cars and consumers paid the price.
Another Big EV Battery Fantasy, Another Letdown: Electric-car makers keep looking past cheaper and safer power options, which means their high-risk ventures are rarely high-reward — for companies or investors. Beyond the potential feats large EV investments bring for firms, it’s worth taking a closer look at their plans and the batteries they are promising.
How China's Car Batteries Conquered the World: Beijing’s calculated approach to manufacturing electric-vehicle power packs has the U.S., the European Union and other rivals playing catch-up in the race to lead the electric future. As the world’s biggest source of new carbon emissions, China has taken deliberate and difficult steps to push toward electrification. In doing so, the country is showing how an older, stable battery technology — paired with effective industrial policy — could be the way forward.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.
Anjani Trivedi is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies in Asia. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal.
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