North American battery factories

North America became the fastest-growing regional market for planned new battery cell manufacturing factories by the end of 2022, according to a new report released today.

Clean Energy Associates’ (CEA) “Energy Storage System Supplier Market Intelligence Report” asserts that the incentives offered by the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) are the catalyst for the surge of the number of North American battery factories.

Examples of this include:

  • Ford and CATL announcing in February 2022 that they’re going to build a $3.5 billion, 35 GWh lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cell production factory in Michigan by 2026;
  • BMW Group and Envision AESC announcing in October 2022 that they’d build a $700 million, 30 GWh EV battery factory in South Carolina, launch date TBD;
  • Canadian battery maker Electrovaya will build its first US EV battery plant in New York State with around 1 GWh capacity. The $75 million factory will open in the fall of 2023.

CEA says that China is still the leading battery cell manufacturing hub, but its share will decline in “coming years.” Europe has seen delays and cancellations of several planned battery factories, mostly due to high energy prices and other countries’ pro-clean energy and EV manufacturing policies luring projects away.

Global EV battery usage increased by 72% in just a year, from 2021 to 2022. And going forward, CEA forecasts an impressive two-year 186% growth rate on the 1,706 GWh of batteries produced in 2022.

The reason is obvious for the rapid increase in battery factories: The International Energy Agency’s “Global EV Outlook 2023” reports that EV sales exceeded 10 million in 2022, and 14% of all new cars sold were electric in 2022 – up from around 9% in 2021 and less than 5% in 2020. And battery and EV manufacturing are only going to continue to experience huge growth.

Photo: BMW Group

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