Germany's Car Industry Can't Build Its Own Battery Cells?

Europe doesn't have enough producive capacity to effectively make EVs and they don't like the idea of buying from Asia. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is angry about the fact that her country is becoming increasingly dependent upon the Chinese for their supply of lithium-ion batteries for EVs. German companies have already experienced disadvantages resulting from China’s political calculations, when it comes to the awarding of public contracts, for instance. Merkel urged German automotive companies to start a race to catch up. But so far, they haven’t. That’s worrisome knowning that a large scale production of battery cells by European or German companies will be crucial for the continent for keeping its chances in taking part in an enormous and rapidly growing market. 

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 The battery prices have plummeted a lot more than anyone could have expected, which is good for EVs. Batteries have become a commodity. The concern of the German government is not the location of the battery factories but who owns these companies. And all the battery makers are Asian. There’s nothing wrong with that though, since as I said it’s a commodity product.

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Battery tech and batter production is the main reason why I don’t see Tesla going out of business. Their charging network and energy division have too much value for a car or energy company to not buy them if the stock price goes low enough.

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People easily dismiss the value of Tesla because it sells vehicles and I share the same view- Tesla won’t be able to create lots of profit by selling cars. As more automakers makes cheaper cars, or luxurious cars designed for specific consumers, market will be very competitive and Tesla won't be a dominant player in the market. But Tesla has advantage because the charging network and battery technology they already built for electric cars seems very strong and it will be only more valuable as the electric car market becomes more competitive.

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BMW buys cells from CATL’s Europe plant the same way Tesla buys cells from Panasonics US cell plant inside the GF. If you don't count Asian cell plants in Europe as Europe being able to produce batteries, then the US car company buying Japanese cells hardly make the US any different. If Tesla is to set up an European battery plant, that would just be another Asian battery maker – Panasonic making batteries for cars sold in Europe. 

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5 minutes ago, BlackTortoise said:


 The battery prices have plummeted a lot more than anyone could have expected, which is good for EVs. Batteries have become a commodity. The concern of the German government is not the location of the battery factories but who owns these companies. And all the battery makers are Asian. There’s nothing wrong with that though, since as I said it’s a commodity product.

I agree. The problem is not the location where the batteries are made, but who owns the company  making the batteries. There’s plenty of battery factories being built in Europe (including Germany), however none of them, I think, are European companies.

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The thing is to protect its economic interest. The car industry is very important for the German economy, so they need to insure they have the means of production available in their country.

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It’s just about control, and politicians like control.
If you read about the CEOs reactions, they’re not worried at all.

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6 hours ago, Adam Varga said:

Europe doesn't have enough producive capacity to effectively make EVs and they don't like the idea of buying from Asia. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is angry about the fact that her country is becoming increasingly dependent upon the Chinese for their supply of lithium-ion batteries for EVs. German companies have already experienced disadvantages resulting from China’s political calculations, when it comes to the awarding of public contracts, for instance. Merkel urged German automotive companies to start a race to catch up. But so far, they haven’t. That’s worrisome knowning that a large scale production of battery cells by European or German companies will be crucial for the continent for keeping its chances in taking part in an enormous and rapidly growing market. 

They could go down the hybrid / PHEV route and use NI-MH batteries instead. Their energy density is nearly as good as Lithium. I'm surprised they haven't done more to build series hybrids using their diesels. A diesel for the open road and EV for the cities and suburbs. 

Another option are Sodium Ion batteries. Nearly as good and 1/3rd cheaper. 

https://www.faradion.co.uk/

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