As the White House pushes the vehicles as a solution to rising gas prices, manufacturers say the supply chain isn’t there.
Rivian Automotive Inc. Chief Executive RJ Scaringe is sounding the alarm on a looming shortage of battery supplies for electric vehicles.
Shortages have struck the entire supply chain, from mining raw materials to processing them to building the battery cells. Not only are raw materials becoming expensive, but the infrastructure necessary to keep up with demand simply does not exist.
Larger auto companies are moving battery cell production in-house from overseas, hoping to retain more control over the process. Others, like GM, are partnering with mining firms to secure access to critical elements like cobalt and lithium.
The process of mining so-called rare earth metals is controversial itself. Environmental activists note the process produces tons of toxic waste and are notoriously underregulated operations.
That has not stopped the Biden administration from promoting the technology as a green energy solution to rising oil and gas prices. In what he considers a move “critical to combating human-caused climate change”, Biden recently invoked the Defense Production Act to fund domestic production of these materials.