What do lithium battery patents have to do with EV prices?
They’re cheaper, don’t use ultra-rare raw materials like cobalt and nickel, and are less likely to catch fire than lithium-ion batteries. But under the past patent protection, most carmakers have resorted to researching other lithium-based concoctions. All of these patent expirations may soon change that, helping to lower the need for such expensive materials, and thereby EV price tags.
Expiring lithium battery patents will affect the cost of production for EV makers
What this could mean is that the cheaper batteries, thanks to new access to lithium battery patents, could make EVs more affordable, though the discount may only apply to the entry-level vehicles that LFPs are used in.
Even with the expiring patents, global lithium supply will affect EV prices in the future
According to the same report from the Advanced Propulsion Centre, the growing scarcity of lithium could possibly cut down global EV sales in 2030 from a forecasted 40 million to a total of 25 million EVs.
For those interested in entry-level EVs, the lithium bottleneck could still slow production. However, LFPs will likely stay popular, because the NMC (nickel-manganese-cobalt) batteries the industry currently favors are getting more expensive, as these rare metals are also in short supply.
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