Stephen Edelstein, writing for Green Car Reports, published an article on Ford CEO Jim Farley’s aim to increase EV battery production within the US.
The gist of Edelstein piece is that Farley wants to prevent a repeat of the recent computer chip shortage that left automakers struggling to obtain sufficient chips for EV production. Those chips were primarily sourced offshore, meaning US car makers had to wrestle with manufacturers throughout the world to obtain an adequate supply of necessary components.
Farley wants to stave off a similar battery shortage as electric vehicle production multiples around the globe. Edelstein quotes Farley as declaring “We can’t go through what we’re doing with chips right now in Taiwan. It’s [battery production] just too important.”
The article also points out that offshore battery manufacturing is typically “dirtier” then similar cell production in the US. China is particularly egregious in this regard, Edelstein reports the CO2 emissions from Chinese battery factories are “60% to 85% higher than in the Europe and the U.S.” Edelstein writes the Chinese producers are investing in methods to lower CO2 emissions, but emissions are expected to rise in the near term.
I think it makes great sense to build EV batteries in the US rather than import them. There was a clamor to reduce our dependance on foreign oil, why should the US become addicted to foreign battery cells? While reduced C02 emissions and more domestic jobs are worthy goals, it is foolhardy to transfer the countries’ best technology and intellectual property to offshore producers.
Farley’s demand for greater US battery production is farsighted and intelligent. I just hope the US listens to him.
You can find Eldelstein’s report here