The advent of electric vehicles with easily replaceable batteries may contribute to concerns about material shortages, costs and charging times, as well as proper life cycle management of an environmentally hazardous product, he writes. Chloe Glynn For thematic research, GlobalData
Since 1997, when Toyota launched the Prius hybrid, electric vehicles (EVs) have been hailed as an alternative to using fossil fuels in cars.
Since then, the EV market has grown dramatically, from tens of thousands of units sold in 2010 to tens of millions in 2020.
However, despite the growing demand for EVs, consumers are struggling with the cost of EVs and adapting to longer charging times.
In addition, GlobalData predicts that there is likely to be a global battery shortage by 2025, driven by a sudden increase in demand for electric vehicles and a shortage of mined and refined battery metals.
According to GlobalDataPassenger cars and commercial vehicles are driving battery industry growth, accounting for 80% of industry revenues by 2030. But there is likely to be a short-term increase in the cost of batteries due to supply chain constraints for raw materials.
Chinese carmaker Nio has developed replaceable EV batteries to reduce consumers’ fears about charging and reduce the time spent waiting for a car battery to charge. The development of replaceable car batteries allows the user to drive in the car, quickly change the battery and leave with a healthy and fully charged car battery.
In addition, consumers will no longer buy the most expensive part of the electric car (the battery), which will reduce the cost by about $9,700. Instead, they’ll charge a monthly subscription of $145 to $260, depending on the size of the battery. This development has been successfully implemented throughout China and is spreading further afield. Nio is partnering with Shell to implement battery exchange stations in Europe, starting with Norway.
The replacement car battery market can also play an important role in reducing battery waste and potentially improve the expected shortage. For example, primary batteries will eventually die, and this scheme may improve the life of secondary batteries if they are cared for by experts.
The treatment that consumers currently give their batteries is likely to cause premature damage. If the batteries are owned, charged and maintained by companies like Nio, this will likely improve their life, reducing the need for early battery replacement. This will also help to solve the problem of destroying batteries. Batteries can leak toxic chemicals and the battery recycling industry still requires some development.
Extending the life of power supply batteries should reduce the number of batteries thrown away and unusable before sufficient recycling can be processed.
It is unlikely that all car manufacturers will offer replaceable batteries by 2025. For the convenience of users, exchange stations should be widespread and arrange different types of batteries for different types of vehicles and manufacturers. However, the success of the battery swap in China suggests it could be a popular initiative in Europe, particularly with the help of Shell.
It will undoubtedly have financial benefits for the user, especially those who are looking for the latest technology and want to upgrade their batteries as soon as new developments are released. While unlikely to become mainstream enough to help reduce demand for batteries in the short term, they could provide a more sustainable way for battery companies to operate in the long term.
Can Battery Replacement Change EV Charging?
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