Batteries & EVs: The New Oil Wars
Oil has been the single most important factor in human civilization’s meteoric rise over the last 150 years. Our modern way of life would simply not be possible without it, not just for transport and energy but also for great technological leaps forward, such as the development of plastics. Thus, it is no great surprise that nations have gone to war to secure and find this precious resource.
However, major technological advances in batteries, electric vehicles and renewable energy has begun to shift this balance. There is now a global revolution underway in terms of EVs and battery technology and this is bringing with it a new demand for natural resources, commercial market share and technological innovation. These developments are drawing new battle lines, impacting geopolitics and setting us up for a new era of “oil wars”.
Technology, Geopolitics & Natural Resources
While oil is not going away anytime soon, electrified economy giants such as Tesla are leading the way in terms of technological development. In fact, many believe that Tesla is on the verge of major breakthroughs that will deliver us the super-batteries of the future.
China is leading the world in terms of electric vehicles and has already ushered in a golden age of sorts for an electrified economy. They have the largest battery-making and EV infrastructure and sales of EVs are expected to keep rising, not just in China but around the world. But batteries do not come out of thin air, they require natural resources such as cobalt, nickel and other materials to build. These resources are not exactly abundant and thus we may see geopolitical tensions as the big players begin to vie for these resources.
A New Global Arms Race
While still just taking off, the electrified economy is gathering steam around the world and will see the great powers such as the US, China and Europe competing against one another in what could become a new global arms race for electric and battery technology. The countries with the best infrastructure and most innovative tech will emerge as the winners.
Still, despite Tesla and others designing the batteries and vehicles of the future, much of it is built in China. So, whichever way the electric winds blow, China is likely to come out on top in terms of production and access. But the ultimate winner of this economic arms race will be whichever country is most innovative and, right now, it is all up for grabs!
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