A headache for European electric car makers: China’s dominance could burst the bubble?

They and the tens of millions of electric cars to come will need a lot of batteries. Bernstein estimates that demand for electric cars will grow ninefold to 3,200 gigawatt hours by 2030. Rystad predicts even more boldly, saying the number will reach 4,000 gigawatt hours.

Such future projections explain very well why the battery value chain is undergoing such feverish processes. From Chile’s Atacama desert, where lithium is mined, to Hungary, where on August 12, Chinese battery manufacturer CATL (the world’s largest, by the way) announced a 7.3 billion EUR investments in the second European gigafactory. Only, it seems that even such a considerable stir may not be enough, especially for Western car manufacturers, who want to reduce their dependence on the Chinese-dominated battery industry in the wake of geopolitical tensions. The prices of the metals needed to make batteries have soared and threaten to increase battery production costs this year for the first time in more than a decade.

In July, Bloombergnef publicly questioned its previous forecast that the cost of purchasing and maintaining an electric car would already be on par with fossil fuel-powered cars by 2024. Even more distant goals, such as the European Union’s ban on the sale of new fossil fuel-powered cars, which will enter into force in 2035, may remain unfulfilled.

Could it be that the electric car bubble will burst, not fully inflated?

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