40th Annual International Battery Seminar and Exhibit – March 2023
The Rapidly Evolving and Scaling Lithium-Ion Battery Industry
The world of lithium-ion batteries is getting more exciting and complicated by the day, primarily due to the increased production of electric vehicles. Opportunities and challenges are everywhere, and JobsOhio was fortunate to have several discussions while sponsoring and attending the recent International Battery Seminar hosted in Orlando.
Alongside our partners from TeamNEO and OhioSoutheast, JobsOhio had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with over a dozen companies in the automotive, battery, and chemical sectors while hearing from top companies and industry analysts.
Several major themes emerged during this year’s show:
- Lithium Ion Battery Production has been conducted on a relatively small scale. However, the industry is transitioning from “start-up to scale-up.” In 2015, global production sat around 60GWh. That is projected to grow to about 1,000 GWh this year and to about 4,000 GWh by 2030, according to analyst group Benchmark Minerals. Not all, but the majority of the market demand is being driven by global vehicle electrification.
- Sustainability is gaining priority for key business decisions related to production, supply chain, and site selection. Though recycling is not likely to supply a large portion of the necessary components for battery production in the near term, recycling is still becoming a critical consideration in the production phase, with partnerships emerging quickly alongside battery production operations. Companies, particularly those from Europe, seek nearly 100% renewable energy for their production facilities.
- As the industry scales and demand grows, increasing emphasis is being placed on critical supply chain components, including localization of production and processing, development of alternative chemistries and technologies to reduce reliance on certain raw minerals, and OEM investments further up the supply chain to gain control of critical minerals and components. Additionally, federal policies and programs such as the Inflation Reduction Act and Department of Energy programs are infusing significant amounts of capital into the industry in exchange for production to take place in the US, North America, and Free Trade Agreement partner countries. This has the potential to drive significant additional investments in North America.
What does this mean for lithium batteries and electric vehicles in Ohio? Ohio is already positioned within a one-day’s drive (600 miles) of 75% of the announced battery production capacity in North America. Suppliers in the cathode active material and separator films have announced or are operating in the state. Ample opportunity exists to attract critical suppliers, including electrolytes, adhesives, cathode, and anode production. As OEMs continue to ramp up production of new electric models globally and here in Ohio, demand for batteries will continue to increase, which creates opportunities in our state for additional battery production. JobsOhio is prepared to assist interested companies in this space with workforce assistance, real estate and site selection, and potential financial incentives.
Director of Automotive, Steel, & White Goods