MindBullets 20 Years

Drowning in lithium batteries

Prices crash in the face of massive oversupply

For the last seven years, there’s been a rush to build more and more ‘Gigafactories’ to supply the seemingly insatiable demand for solar power and electric cars. At the heart of both these tech innovations lies the critical need for energy storage – lithium ion batteries.

Everybody knows that the secret to electric car success is having the best batteries, and everybody knows that solar needs a powerwall or two to be worthwhile. Which is why the auto makers and renewables suppliers invested heavily in factories to provide enough gigawatt-hours to fill the need. And then some.

Leading the charge was China, with giants like CATL and BYD producing premium products in abundance. Not to be outdone, and to ensure ‘energy security’, the US and Europe were quick to follow suit.

Now there’s more capacity than anyone can use in a single year, despite the universal popularity of electric cars. Warehouses and supply chains are overflowing with inventory, and lithium is as cheap as chips.

Which is great news for the consumer, for anyone who wants a basic electric car, or needs to replace his solar battery pack. Just like solar panels a few years back, the new tech is twice as good at half the price. So, if you’ve been wanting to get a new battery for your home, car, office, or even a solar farm, now is the time.

It’s bad news for the gigaworkers though. Production lines are slow or halted, and there’s no space in the warehouse for the finished products. Luckily almost all the ‘workers’ are robots, so they’re not going to complain or go out on strike!

But mining companies that pinned their future on battery metals are hard hit. Lithium is the new lead.

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As the dynamics of the energy transition and related commodities transition unfold in the coming decades, Futureworld is at the forefront of navigating these changes with some of the world’s leading companies. With our deep expertise across the mining, metals, and energy landscape, we can help you adapt to this evolving scenario and leverage potential opportunities as they emerge on the horizon. Please contact our Advisory Managing Partner, Jan-Adriaan du Plessis or the author Doug Vining for more details.

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer.