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According to the International Energy Agency by 2030, more than 60% of passenger cars sold will be electric. The growing demand for electric vehicles matches the growing demand for batteries. – The global reset and a transition to renewable energy sources and the reduction of dependence on fossil fuels lead to a reorganization of the electrification process – says Jakub Stec, sales manager of ABB Robotics in Poland.
The immediate future belongs to solutions that use lithium ion batteries. It is these cells that are most often installed in electric vehicles. They owe their popularity to high efficiency, low price and high level of productivity in relation to cell weight. According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, by 2025, the production capacity of lithium-ion technology in the world will have more than doubled.
With the expected annual increase in battery demand exceeding 25%, to meet the demand by 2030, it is necessary to build more than a hundred gig-scale factories. The latest forecasts indicate that in Europe alone, by the middle of the next decade, no less than 35 giant factories producing accumulators and batteries will be in operation. – This is a clear change in the strategy you are aiming for reduce dependence on cells imported from Asia – says Jakub Stec. – The construction of new factories producing cells is linked to the development of electromobility, but not only. The manufacturers also intend to supply the European energy storage and consumer electronics industries, explains the expert. The e-mobility sector itself will contribute to the fact that the technology will constantly develop and the demand for batteries will reach a very high level. Over the past decade, lithium-ion cell prices have fallen 90%. This makes it more profitable to invest not only in electromobility, but also in other areas, such as energy storage. And this will boost production even more – he adds.
The largest battery producers are located in the regions where electric vehicles are purchased the most: Asia, Europe and North America. Determined the leader is China, responsible for 80 percent production. lithium-ion cells in the world. The United States came second, with shares at the 6 percent level. world production, corresponding to 44 GWh. Europe has more generation capacity than its cousins across the Atlantic – they reach 68 GWh, or around 10%. global battery production – however, the list considers individual countries, not the EU as a whole. For this reason Hungary and Poland are in the top 5. The Magyars are responsible for 4 percent. global sales, us for 3.1 percent.
The middle of the decade will be a time of reshuffling. China will continue to be the production leader, but its share of the world market will fall to 65%. The reason will not be a reduction in production capacity in the Middle Kingdom, but an increase in productivity in other regions. Our western neighbors are a good illustration of this. In Germany, production capacity will increase to 164 GWh, a 15-fold increase in just four years. These investments will result in global market share. Germany will be responsible for more than 11 percent. global cell production. It will not be a coincidence. By 2035, up to 12 gigafactories will be built on the Rhine. – Our western neighbors have a plan and are constantly implementing it. The modernization of the industry is not a coincidence, but a well thought out strategy – says Jakub Stec from ABB. – Industry is a system of connected ships. Development and modernization in one area spills over into other segments. In the near future, a significant increase in saturation with industrial robots can be expected in other areas of the German manufacturing sector, concludes the expert.
Germany will be followed by the United States, which will double its production capacity by 2025 and will be responsible for 6.3%. worldwide production of lithium-ion batteries. It will be right behind the United States Polandwho by mid-decade, it will be the fourth-largest cell supplier with a 4.3% share., which corresponds to 70 GWh (only 20 GWh less than in the USA). The production capacity on the Vistula will triple, as a reward we will get a bigger slice of the world pie than we have today. – Please note that the battery manufacturing industry is growing rapidly. Rankings are subject to change. One thing is indisputable: the demand for batteries and production capacity will increase – notes Jakub Stec.
Cell production will drive robotics. The latest GlobalData report predicts that by 2030, the industrial robot market will experience double-digit annual growth. After 10 years of double-digit annual growth, global robot sales will surpass $500 billion by the end of the decade. This is an impressive result for an industry that generated just $45 billion in global revenue in 2020. – Robotics, like no other technology, is an example that is not enough to be a fashionable trend, it still needs results. The incentive for investment in machinery is the progress that manufacturing achieves through it. Artificial intelligence and the cloud make robots ever more agile: smarter and more efficient. Scania’s investment is a good illustration of this, explains the expert. This year, ABB signed a contract with Scania to supply complete robotic solutions for a new highly automated battery assembly plant in Sweden.
The new Södertälje plant will start production in 2023 and will be the Swedish manufacturer’s key investment in the field of electric mobility. The cost is a whopping $108 million. Tony Persson, head of battery assembly at Scania, says the plant will increase its production capacity by leaps and bounds through the use of cutting-edge robotics from ABB. – We will improve our production, which will also be more flexible. The plant is also an investment that will strengthen Sweden’s position as a leading technology center for heavy-duty vehicle electrification, which is crucial in the transition to sustainable transport, Persson said. Interestingly, the factory cells will produce robots originally designed for the packaging industry.
According to experts, the drivers of increased investment in new production lines and new machinery will be demographics and the desire to improve efficiency. Automation is the solution to both. Spending on technology translates directly into savings on operating costs, which are the bottleneck of the industrial sector.
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