Rivian CEO Warns of Looming Electric-Vehicle Battery Shortage – By Sean McLain and Scott Patterson (Wall Street Journal – April 18, 2022)


Much of the battery supply chain isn’t built, challenging an industry aiming to sell tens of millions of EVs in coming years, RJ Scaringe says

NORMAL, Ill.—Rivian Automotive Inc. Chief Executive RJ Scaringe is warning that the auto industry could soon face a shortage of battery supplies for electric vehicles—a challenge that he says could surpass the current computer-chip shortage.

Car companies are trying to lock up limited supplies of raw materials such as cobalt, lithium and nickel that are key to battery making, and many are constructing their own battery plants to put more battery-powered models in showrooms.

“Put very simply, all the world’s cell production combined represents well under 10% of what we will need in 10 years,” Mr. Scaringe said last week, while giving reporters a tour of the company’s plant in Normal, Ill. “Meaning, 90% to 95% of the supply chain does not exist,” he added.

The CEO’s comments are the latest alarm bell to go off across both the auto and battery sectors with executives worried that the fast-rising demand for electric-vehicle parts and a shortfall of critical materials and production could result in an acute supply crunch.

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