With demand for plug-in vehicles and the batteries they need to power themselves along increasing, we are most certainly at a point where demand outstrips supply.
That’s leading to some battery manufacturers (like LG Chem, for example) pushing up the prices of their finished lithium-ion cells, resulting in higher sticker costs for consumers and lowered production goals being announced by automakers as they realize they don’t have enough batteries to supply the cars they had planned to build.
At the same time, we’re hearing allegations (which we’ve been unable to verify) that Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 in Reno, Nevada is currently struggling to produce batteries at a high enough rate to keep up with Tesla’s high demand for the same. Moreover, those allegations say that Panasonic/Tesla workers aren’t being diligent enough in their work, resulting in a half million cells per day being trashed because of contamination or poor construction.
While we can’t verify these allegations, we did think it was time to detail just how expensive and time-consuming it is to both build the production facilities that make electric car battery packs — and detail why we just aren’t seeing more production facilities being built in short order.
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