How Stellantis plans to avoid an EV battery shortage

Tavares said he expects a shortage of batteries by 2024 or 2025, followed by a shortage of the raw materials needed for electric vehicles in 2027 or 2028.

“The speed at which we are trying to move forward all together for the right reason, which solves the problem of global warming,” Tavares said, “is so high that the supply chain and the production capacities do not have the time to adjust.”

Building the electric vehicle supply chain so that it provides sufficient quantities of affordable materials such as lithium within the time frames targeted by automakers is a tall order, said Sam Fiorani, global vice president of forecasting at vehicles at Auto-Forecast Solutions, which tracks automotive production.

“The problem is that there is a shortage of facilities designed to both extract and then refine lithium,” Fiorani said. “Environmental regulations, permits, and facility construction all conspire to lengthen the time required to deploy new lithium mining and refining facilities. Neodymium and other magnetic rare earths are concentrated in geographic and countries where politics interferes with supply.”

On the regulatory side, Tavares said he hopes for stability in environmental standards. Tavares has in the past criticized politicians who he says have pushed the industry to adopt electric vehicles, which are more expensive to produce but must remain affordable for middle-class consumers.

“Stop playing by the rules,” Tavares said. “Leave the rules as they are and let people work properly with a lot of focus and a lot of rigor.”

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