The global automotive industry needs to brace for a shortage of electric vehicle (EV) batteries, according to Tesla’s rival Rivian.
Chief executive RJ Scaringe said moving from building a few million batteries to tens of millions within the decade will replace chip shortages as the sector’s biggest challenge.
“Put very simply, all the world’s cell production combined represents well under 10% of what we will need in 10 years,” the 38-year-old businessman told the Wall Street Journal.
“Meaning, 90% to 95% of the supply chain does not exist.”
According to the chief executive, chip shortages – which have plagued car production over the last couple of years and don’t show sign any signs of stopping – will become a “small appetiser to what we are about to feel on battery cells.”
Chip shortages are nevertheless plaguing the company because suppliers prefer to allocate more orders to established customers, as they are uncertain whether the California-based automotive maker will hit all its marks.
“I have to call up semiconductor supplier Y and say this is how many Supplier X gave us, and get everybody comfortable because the system’s unproven,” Scaringe told Reuters today during a tour of its Illinois plant. “It’s really frustrating.”
Following a $105bn blockbuster IPO last November, the electric truck and SUV maker has been working over the past few months at ramping up production.
Despite an order book of 83,000 vehicles, Rivian was forced in March to slash production forecasts to 25,000 as a result of production issues.