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Reality of Li-Ion based Electric Cars

So, recently we have been considering to get into EVs.
Image Credit: Fabio Berti/shutterstock.com


I will write down the bare bone structure of industry what we could figure out and then we will get to details of electric cars and why we decided to stay away from the combination of Li-Ion and Cars.

EV Industry is made of three major parts
  • Vehicle manufacturer 
  • Energy storage manufacturers
  • Energy suppliers
Absolute shamelessly, I  am going to skim over the above three sectors because even a small part of each sector deserves its own article, and let's not write a book here.
  • Vehicle Manufacturer - All the people who make the machines you are going to sit on, in or hang under. Car manufacturer, two-wheeler manufacturers, and even three wheeler manufacturers. It also includes there sub-parts like Motor makers, light maker, seat maker, tire maker, etc.
  • Energy Storage Maker - Battery makers, Battery pack assemblers, BMS Makers, etc.
  • Energy suppliers - Charging stations, Energy sellers, Charging station makers, smart infra maintainers, etc.
Now, since we are trying to figure out if the industry makes sense or not. The very basic thing we need for any industry is natural resources. An industry can be considered viable if there are enough natural resources for that industry to keep going for 200 Years and at the end of 200 Years at-least 20 % Material should be left.
As abundance decreases, it is more difficult to extract the material. And around the point of 20%, it should start becoming infeasible.
That's where Li-Ion batteries run into troubles.

Out of three-wheelers, two-wheelers and other vehicles, we looked into cars because there 1.2 Billion cars on the road.

For this analysis, we can safely assume that vehicle manufacturing is sorted because major parts of electric cars are the same as Fossil fuel car. only motor and Battery are new. 

A most important part of an electric vehicle is its battery, so let's looks into battery since they are also the newest member in our vehicle contraption family.

Let's be lazy and say, in the short term, there will be 1 Billion cars on Road (Due to the factor that people are moving away from owning and shifting to subscription). Don't worry about this assumption, it won't matter when you see numbers.

Calculation metrics - 
  • We are just electrifying 30 % Cars of the world
  • Average car driving per day - 40 Km (Averaging cabs and Personal cars)
  • Battery and power train efficiency is 180 Wh/Km

The battery will be needing replacement in 8 Years according to the above calculation, 
This number matches with the guarantee Car Manufacturers give on their battery.

Next, let's look at material needed to manufacture batteries for these many cars
We are assuming NMC Batteries which are currently most efficient and are in mass production

Following is the material needed per 72 Wh battery

Following is the material needed for "Battery capacity which will be on Road"

Now comes the interesting fact, this the total amount of each element available in earth crust according to current data

I guess you can already see what just happened 
This is the percentage of material from earth crust we will end up using in making NMC Batteries for just 30 % Cars is the world, which will just last 8 Years
Forget about 2 Wheeler, 3 whalers, our electrics and mass storage for renewable energy.

There is not enough material to even support this industry for 20 Years, forget about 200 years!
Half of the cobalt of all earth in just 30% cars! 

This is the reason why we are staying away from EVs for now, since EVs will end up depending on different battery technology and the Infra setup to charge and produce the Li-Ion might not end up supporting that tech, that's when real opportunity will strike.
And we can't work on developing batteries since we don't have any expertise or resources to carry out such deep tech research.

On a closing note, we would love to hear how we are wrong at this, please give us constructive criticism and we would love to know if you know any battery tech revolution is coming up.
Also please tell us Why are people even investing in setting infrastructure to manufacture and charge these batteries?

Sources -
https://www.manufacturingcleanenergy.org/blog-20160413.html
https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy16osti/66086.pdf
https://www.samsungsdi.com/column/technology/detail/55272.html?listType=gallery
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1369702114004118
https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/types_of_lithium_ion
https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/archive/is_li_ion_the_solution_for_the_electric_vehicle
https://batteryuniversity.com/index.php/learn/article/types_of_lithium_ion
https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/is-there-enough-lithium-to-maintain-the-growth-of-the-lithium-ion-battery-m#gs.fy1x33
https://www.statista.com/statistics/264930/global-cobalt-reserves/
https://www.statista.com/topics/1572/nickel/
https://investingnews.com/daily/resource-investing/battery-metals-investing/lithium-investing/lithium-reserves-country/
https://investingnews.com/daily/resource-investing/battery-metals-investing/manganese-investing/manganese-reserves/



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