Brent Wilson, the CEO of Galvanic Energy, discusses the necessity of achieving energy independence and the future of lithium battery production in the US.
This year on American Independence Day, celebrations of millions of citizens took place. In the backdrop of these celebrations, there are growing fears that the nation’s energy independence may be slipping away, and that US national security may soon be at risk.
A new revolution is transforming the future of mobility around the world, and the US is finding itself dependent on others for the lithium batteries electric vehicles and electronic gadgets depend on for power. And now, a growing number of industry experts are sounding the alarm over China’s dominance of the lithium battery industry, comparing it to OPEC’s control of world oil markets.
“Our dependency on foreign countries for lithium-ion batteries has the potential of being actually worse than the semiconductor issue we’re seeing today,” said Aaron Bent, chief executive of 6K, a Massachusetts-based materials manufacturer.
Hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles on US roads depend on lithium batteries for their power, but China has a grip on the market, refining 60% of the world’s lithium, and controlling 77% of global battery cell capacity.
And consumers are already feeling the consequences. The price of lithium has jumped tremendously over the last year, and experts believe those costs could push battery prices even higher, according to a recent report from Reuters.
The world’s lithium battery supply chain follows a narrow path to the global market, starting with mining centers in Australia and South America, then moving across the Pacific for processing and battery manufacturing in China, South Korea and other Asian countries.