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An EV battery shortage may be on the horizon

Apparently, ‘rare earth’ elements are actually rare. Who would have guessed?

rivian r1
Image: Rivian

The electric vehicle (EV) revolution is here, but it’s heading for a giant speed-bump according to the CEO of EV manufacturer Rivian. RJ Scaringe warns that the industry is heading for an epic shortage of EV battery materials.

That’s the latest in a long line of shortages affecting all manufacturing, with electronics the most affected. The reason EVs are about to get hit? Batteries need multiple metals to produce, like cobalt, lithium, and nickel.

Those were in short supply before the pandemic, with reduced mining and production further affecting supply.

The forecast from Rivian’s CEO is that we’re only producing ten percent of the EV batteries that we’ll need a decade from now. That’s around the time that most of the legacy automakers are saying they’ll switch to EV-only sales. See the problem?

tesla charging at house
Image: Unsplash

READ MORE: Electric cars are in short supply, so good luck buying one

Our reliance on gas-guzzling automobiles isn’t a simple problem to solve. It’s multifaceted and will require many industries to get on board. It will be about investing to build proper infrastructure for charging stations.

It’s about mining and refining investments for raw materials and investing in new ways of making cars. Finally, it requires investments to improve the supply of electricity to homes.

Maybe Rivian’s CEO is sounding the alarm now because he knows it could sink his fledgling company. Right now, Rivian has 83,000 preordered vehicles on its books, with another 100,000 special fleet vehicles ordered by Amazon, and has delivered less than 1,000 to date.

READ MORE: There’s a new EV coming that doubles as a gaming PC

Anything that delays their progress, like a shortage of EV batteries, is going to hurt when his company is already burning $4.7 billion a year.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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