An Inside Look at the Battery Supply Chain Problems in the United States

April 22

The battery supply chain in the United States is saddled with a litany of challenges. This is precisely why the Biden administration recently stated it will implement a plan to review the country’s supply chain. The review will span 100 days, keying in on computer chips, lithium-ion for electric vehicles, and rare earth minerals, which have been low in supply.

Unfortunately, the United States is largely dependent on China for these items. The bottom line is that our reliance on foreign powers for the battery supply chain, computer chips and other important items poses a legitimate national security concern.

The Importance of Batteries in 2021 and Beyond

Lithium-ion batteries are becoming that much more popular as we quickly transition to green electric-powered automobiles that rely on rechargeable batteries. However, the offshoring of labor to Asia has led to our country’s reliance on foreign countries for these essential batteries. This is precisely why the Biden administration will likely take action to create a battery supply chain right here at home that empowers us to be self-reliant, create sustainable energy sources, produce green vehicles, and plenty more right here at home.

However, battery production is not exactly easy or uber-profitable. The slim margins, along with considerable capital investment, heightens risk. The potential for quality recalls makes it even more challenging to make batteries here at home without going deep into debt. Though the United States has nearly a dozen emerging electric vehicle businesses that recently went public, we have dragged our feet in terms of domestic battery production. The silver lining is partnerships are being established with the likes of SK Innovation, Ford, LG Chem, and GM to ramp up the production of green vehicles and batteries.

Batteries in the Context of National Security

A full reliance on foreign battery producers is clearly a mistake in terms of national security. After all, the world is going green, meaning fossil fuels are being phased out while rechargeable batteries are soaring in popularity. If the United States were to remain reliant upon foreign powers for the production of rechargeable batteries or lose control of the minerals necessary to make those batteries, it would threaten our national security. Though Americans are not exactly enthusiastic about performing repetitive labor in manufacturing settings, the bottom line is such jobs will have to be re-shored in the years ahead to fortify our national security.

Biden to the Rescue?

The Biden administration appears poised to ramp up the United States’ production of rechargeable batteries used in electric vehicles and other devices/machines. The first step is to ramp up domestic production by way of the value chain, stemming from mining materials to the production of batteries. In fact, it even makes sense for the federal government to be the initial customer of domestic battery producers, helping them generate much-needed momentum from the get-go. Biden recently stated the federal government will convert its federal fleet to electric vehicles, hiking the demand for rechargeable batteries all the more.

America’s Return to Glory Starts with a Green Transition and Self-Reliance

The Biden administration’s funding of clean energy and green business development will prove vitally important to our nationwide shift to EVs across the ensuing decades and also for bolstering our national security. Though the United States is not on the verge of becoming an isolationist country, a little more self-reliance will certainly improve our national security while employing many more hard-working Americans right here at home. The electric vehicle battery supply chain will likely return to the United States, at least to a certain extent in the months and years ahead.

Johannes Beekman

About the author

After 25 years in engineering, Johannes Beekman founded IoT Marketing with the goal of helping companies bring wide-scale awareness to their inventions. He received a Master of Science in Physics degree from the Eindhoven University of Technology, and a Master in Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and started his career in the semiconductor field. Johannes pioneered two successful wafer fab startups for Philips Electronics; one in Europe and the second one in Asia. And served as Senior Program Manager for Sematech, where he provided solutions for semiconductor industry-wide product improvement and cost reduction challenges. Johannes has also published articles on several trade-focused websites.


100-day supply chain review, electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries, sustainable energy

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