Demand for second hand EVs is high.
Uneasy: Ford sells 8 million Rivian shares
It’s always the worst when that popular kid you thought was your friend drops you like a hot potato. Or…in this case, when established automaker Ford sells eight million of your shares, causing you to fall 21% in the stock market, only adding to the tumultuous year you were having.
But let’s not get too emotional about it – Ford owned a total of 102 million Rivian, so there’s still plenty left over. Regardless, the start-up has seen its stock plummet by 78% over the course of the year already, CNBC reports. Once touted as the golden child of EV start-ups, Rivian has faced supply chain issues and production delays, a roadblock in the way of its promised 25,000 EVs it expected to produce in 2022. Only time will tell if this company can beat the ‘boom-and-bust’ routine that seems to be the current lifecycle for most EV startups.
Out of power: The battery crisis looming ahead
Shortage is the word of the year. The chief executive of Stellantis has warned that as the world continues its transition to EVs, we may face a battery shortage as soon as 2025, the Guardian reports. Despite automakers increasing EV battery production and investment in European ‘gigafactory’ battery plants, the recent shortage of computer chips and the pandemic has severely hindered the industry’s recovery. As a result, the strong demand that is reaching an all-time high is causing automakers to lose potential sales as they are unable to produce the amount of EVs required.
Start the clock! America has lithium, they just need to mine it
America has a new gold mine, and it’s called lithium. Sitting on large deposits of minerals under its soil, the US has the beginnings of what could be a valuable industry to supply EVs with their much-needed batteries. But as businesses begin to search for land to mine, they face opposition from locals.
In this article by the Financial Times, we see the ongoing battle between lithium mining companies and local businesses. The EV market is providing the US the opportunity to decrease its reliance on foreign lithium mines, 70% of which are based in Australia, Chile and China. It just needs to get past the starting blocks of the ‘battery race’, and that seems to be the tricky part.
There are promising steps being made in North Carolina, but local worries over the noise and vibrations caused by mine activity is hindering further developments. And while the EV industry may need more lithium, in the face of shortages and production delays, it’s also vital that the race for lithium doesn’t disrupt the livelihoods of those in surrounding areas.