Electric Vehicle Energy Storage: Big Changes Ahead | IDTechEx Research Article

Electric Vehicle Energy Storage: Big Changes Ahead | IDTechEx Research Article

Is it all about cars and extrapolation? Not anymore. The unique new IDTechEx report, "Lithium-Ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles 2020-2030" avoids mindless extrapolation. It uses fundamentals to predict huge changes in the electric vehicle business and the way these vehicles store electricity.

Dr Peter Harrop
Electric Vehicle Energy Storage: Big Changes Ahead
Is it all about cars and extrapolation? Not anymore. The unique new IDTechEx report, Lithium-Ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles 2020-2030 avoids mindless extrapolation. It uses fundamentals to predict huge changes in the electric vehicle EV business and the way these vehicles store electricity. For example, rejection of poisons and the fact that herbicides becoming ineffective anyway heralds a huge new market for robot weeders. They will be a part of a burgeoning new demand for small batteries in certain EVs so IDTechEx creates many extra forecasting categories to embrace them. At the other extreme, a large value market for giant batteries around 0.5 to 5MWh is coming from planned electric airliners, huge mining trucks and loaders, inland pure electric ships and more. Consequently, overall, electric vehicles and their batteries are becoming a far larger business than most realise.
 
Raghu Das, CEO of IDTechEx, reveals, "Reinvented lithium-ion batteries LIB will be the clear winner, with only a minority of their business threatened by alternatives such as other advanced batteries and supercapacitors even in 2030 unless there are shortages of good product. We investigate what LIB technologies come in. What risks? What fall back is available when one of the many potential setbacks occurs including inadequate production capacity? Our forecasts reflect the fact that engineers are working round the excessive percentage of vehicle cost represented by the battery. They will often add top up charging, such as solar bodywork and external charging of vehicles travelling at speed, so IDTechEx calculates that the batteries will drop to only 18% of the ex-factory price of EVs as a whole in 2030. That is still a huge demand, way in excess of battery manufacturing commitments, though these are increasing over time so they may or may not be enough on the day. For example, Thailand is joining the party in a big way: it may install nearly 100GWh of production by 2030."
 
The largest LIB market will remain EVs from 2020-2030, so this tells you most of the technical and market situation for LIB in general. In EVs, LIB usually have the best compromise of performance, cost, weight, size. In 2030, the EV demand surpasses $3 billion if unconstrained by LIB supply or failure to meet cost promises. In 6000 data points, IDTechEx presents the cell and pack demand that implies for 2019-2030 including many categories no one else forecasts such as solar cars.
 
The 130 page IDTechEx report, Lithium-Ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles 2020-2030 which uses detailed new infograms and graphs to present the full technical and market future for 100 EV categories by land, water and air in an easily assimilated form and for all leading forms of energy storage. Even voltage, thermal management and other EV battery trends are appraised.
 
Das warns, "Much of the industry is cutting corners in changing every aspect of the battery while scaling up rapidly and we predict that fires and shutdowns will sometimes result. There are potential shortages of materials and other issues identified in the report because this is sober analysis not evangelism for the industry. For example, many extrapolate ongoing sharp reduction in cell cost beyond 2025 despite more expensive materials being introduced in the race for higher energy density. We disagree."
 
The Executive Summary and Conclusions of the report includes ten primary conclusions and forecasts for 11 years of pack number, unit kWh and gross GWh for each of 100 categories of hybrid and pure electric vehicle, land, water and air. It is the only analysis available anywhere in the world with this level of detail. For a quick read, the 13 most important sub-categories for 2030 are summarised and cell and pack cost reduction are predicted. 15 issues and remedies for the ongoing LIB fires are listed. The Introduction then gives basics, background, problems to be addressed, gigafactory commitments, how currently planned capacity may be apportioned between vehicle and other applications and the situation in China, the largest country market. Trends to greater ruggedness, cost reduction and in some cases less or no battery are explained. Chapter 4 concerns increasing energy density. Chapter 5 addresses supercapacitors as competition and as an enhancer of LIB. How will the predicted sharp improvement in supercapacitor energy density change things? Chapter 6 is on the vital matter of LIB safety and Chapter 7 reveals LIB manufacture and its issues.
 
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