Electric Car Production Could Slow Amidst Supply Chain Issues

With the pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine upending supply chains, the cost of raw materials needed to produce electric car batteries is soaring.

1 minute read

March 8, 2022, 9:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Electric Cars

Sopotnicki / Shutterstock

Hyunjoo Jin reports on the shortages facing the electric car industry, particularly as Russia's invasion of Ukraine threatens crucial material supplies. "Rising prices of nickel, lithium and other materials threaten to slow and even temporarily reverse the long-term trend of falling costs of batteries, the most expensive part of EVs, hampering the broader adoption of the technology, said Gregory Miller, an analyst at industry forecaster Benchmark Mineral Intelligence." As Jin writes, "Benchmark Mineral Intelligence said battery producers started increasing lithium-ion cell prices late last year in response to the higher raw material prices they had seen throughout 2021."

According to Jin, "The conflict in Ukraine has only raised the stakes, pushing nickel and aluminium prices to record highs on Monday on growing fears exports from leading producer Russia could be disrupted. Lithium prices also have increased, more than doubling since year end, as supply fell short of rising demand." Coupled with other supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this could have a significant impact on electric vehicle production and costs.

The article details the cost increases and production delays experienced by various EV manufacturers. Electric truck maker Rivian raised the cost of its vehicles by 20 percent for new orders, while Tesla abandoned plans to build a $25,000 car.

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