MILAN (Reuters) – The automotive industry faces a shortage of batteries and raw materials in the coming years as part of its transition towards electric mobility, the head of Stellantis Carlos Tavares said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the FT Future of the Car 2022 conference, Tavares said he could anticipate the industry could suffer supply problems with batteries around 2025, 2026.
“And if there is no short supply of batteries then there will be a significant dependence of the Western world vis-à-vis Asia. That is something we can easily anticipate,” the CEO of the world’s fourth largest carmaker said.
“The speed at which now everybody is building manufacturing capacity for batteries is possibly on the edge to be able to support the fast changing markets in which we are operating,” he said.
Tavares said raw material supply could also pose structural challenges in the coming years as electric vehicles were on average 500 kilos heavier than traditional combustion engine ones.
“That means a lot of raw material extraction, that means eventually scarcity of raw materials, that means eventually geopolitical risks,” Tavares said. “We may not like the way those raw materials are going to be sourced in a few years”.
He said automakers were focusing on technology and were ready to “pour” battery electric vehicles on the market, while they and regulators were lacking vision on all long term implications of the mobility transition.
“What’s next? Where is the clean energy? Where is the charging infrastructure? Where are the raw materials? Where are the geopolitical risks of sourcing those raw materials? Who is looking at the full picture of this transformation?” Tavares said.
(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari, Editing by Louise Heavens)