Electric vehicles (EVs) can help set America on the path to a clean energy economy. However, the supply chain behind it is not fully understood.
A new report from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory fills in the gaps. The report, titled US E-Drive Lithium-Ion Battery Supply Chain: 2010-2020, provides a detailed view of the US EV battery supply chain over the past decade. The ideas presented can help regulators and other key decision makers to plan for the future growth of electric vehicles in the United States
“Leaders in the industry are interested in finding ways to secure raw materials, reuse and recycle battery materials. To do either of these things, you first need to understand what the current demand is and how and where batteries are being produced. That is what co-author Yan (Juan) Chu, systems analyst, said. Chief Transporter and Group Leader in Arjun, “The Kind of Insight Our Report Provides.”
Two features in the report make it unique: It quantifies the total lithium battery capacity of light electric vehicles sold in the United States, and details where lithium battery cells and packs come from in the country, broken down by country and manufacturer.
“These are two things we haven’t seen explained in depth before,” said David Gohlke, Argonne energy and environment analyst and co-author.
The report makes a distinction between battery cells and battery packs because each can be made in different locations. For example, the battery cell can be manufactured in Korea, shipped to Michigan where the packaging is assembled, and then sent to the OEM for placement inside the vehicle.
Effects of battery reuse and recycling
The process of making batteries generates scraps that can be recovered, so knowing where the batteries are made has implications for the reuse and recycling of batteries. For example, knowing the location of battery production sites can help stakeholders locate battery recycling facilities in the future.
“Having a deep understanding of the battery supply chain, its development, and where the vehicles are manufactured and sold, ultimately gives us better information about what we will need to do to effectively recover raw materials,” Zhou said.
Expand insights with additional Argonne tools
The information in the report can be used directly but can also be combined with Argonne tools such as GREET or BatPaC to generate more ideas in the future.
GREET, short for Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Technologies (GREET) Model, is a popular tool for simulating the energy use and emissions outputs of various vehicles and fuels.
“Because different countries can have different electricity mixes and local supply chains, by combining GREET with our knowledge of where the batteries are made, we can achieve a better understanding of the emissions in the battery manufacturing process,” Guelke said.
Researchers could also better understand battery costs if they combined supply chain knowledge with BatPaC, a software tool developed by Argonne to estimate the cost of mass-produced lithium-ion batteries.
“This can help improve things like vehicle cost modeling and economic modeling, which are going into tools that allow us to estimate total energy and emissions,” Gölke said.
Study places responsibility for sustainable lithium production
The Lithium-Ion Battery Supply Chain for E-Drive Vehicles in the US: 2010-2020, Publications.anl.gov/anlpubs/2021/04/167369.pdf
Provided by Argonne National Laboratory
the quote: A 10-Year Look at America’s Battery Supply Chain (2021, July 23) Retrieved on July 23, 2021 from https://techxplore.com/news/2021-07-year-battery-chain-america.html
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