A Domestic Content Rule for Electric Vehicle Lithium-Ion Batteries Will Protect U.S. Jobs

Amelia Pedone and John Deutch

July 2021

The International Energy Agency projects on the basis of national government expressed intentions, that global electric vehicle, EV, deployments are likely to grow at an annual rate over 25% between 2020 and 2030. New EV lithium-ion battery production will follow this demand. China and Europe are on track to account for the largest share of the EV battery market. Europe is expected to add 479GWh, while the U.S. may grow to 129GWh. In 2021, China will have 148 of the world’s 200 Li-ion mega-factories in the pipeline; Europe and North America have 21 and 11 mega-factories in the pipeline, respectively. As a result, China is predicted to hold 67% of global lithium-ion cell capacity in 2030 and to retain a commanding global position in critical battery raw materials: Lithium (the U.S. imports 92% of its supply); Cobalt (the U.S. imports 100% of its supply) and Nickel (the U.S. imports 57% of its supply). A knowledgeable industry observer stated in congressional testimony: “We are in the midst of a global battery arms race in which the U.S. is presently a bystander.” Over the next decade there will be tremendous competition between the United States, China, and the European Union for this battery market.