A recent report from Korean news publication ET News indicates there’s a global cylindrical battery cell shortage, and that it has been spurred on by Tesla’s Gigafactory.
The story goes that Panasonic has shipped most of its lithium-ion battery cells in Japan to Tesla, leaving other major companies without supply. ET News says these companies include other electric vehicle makers, along with IT companies and home appliance companies. Manufacturers have been asking other companies for batteries, such as Samsung SDI, LG Chem and Murata, but those suppliers have also been hit with shortages as demand outpaces supply.
“It is impossible to purchase cylindrical batteries within Japan and we were even notified by Panasonic that they are not going to sell cylindrical batteries anymore,” a representative for an unnamed Japanese battery distributor told ET News. “It has come to a point where we cannot even purchase products from Samsung and LG and even products from Samsung and LG that were produced in China.”
Battery demand has increased exponentially in recent years due to EV production and the manufacturing of other battery-operated objects such as e-bikes, e-cigarettes, power banks and power tools, among much more. Manufacturers of products such as these may have to wait until mid-2018 to receive cylindrical lithium-ion battery cells, the report indicates.
Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 assembles the battery modules for the Model 3 as well as its Powerwall and its Powerpack commercial batteries.
[Source: ET News]