In a new video clip, the Wall Street Journal explores one of the areas of competition between the two superpowers that is emerging as a key theater of the 21st century tech wars: EV battery supply chains.
Followers of ARPN know all too well, and our friends at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence clearly visualized this fact in an infographic last fall: the United States has long been at the mercy of China when it comes to securing our EV battery supply chains, which sit at the heart of the green energy transition.
For your convenience, here’s the visual again:
As the Wall Street Journal outlines in its video clip, the “U.S. lags in most steps of the battery making-process, from sourcing raw materials to assembling components.”
Whether or not the U.S. can overcome these disadvantages remains to be seen — the WSJ points to the United States’ efforts to build out domestic mining and processing capabilities and leverage partnerships, but also rightfully points out that both approaches are fraught with immense challenges, which range from long permitting timelines for mining and processing projects to the NIMBY (not-in-my-backyard) movement going global.
However “Herculean,” in the words of the WSJ, the task may be — against the backdrop of ever-increasing tensions between the United States and China, and with demand for critical minerals; be it the “battery criticals” or the “defense criticals;” soaring to unprecedented heights, there is no alternative to decoupling U.S. supply chains from China, and the sooner stakeholders come to term with this reality, the better.
Watch the video clip here.