Saturday, January 22, 2022

How China's Car Batteries Conquered the World - Asharq Al-awsat - English

Last updated Friday, December 3, 2021 00:47 ET , Source: NewsService

When General Motors Co.’s $27 billion EV program went up in flames in August, it also singed EV enthusiasts’ high hopes for a new generation of long-lasting batteries that could take cars farther while keeping costs low. The storied American car company was forced to recall the 140,000 electric Chevy Bolts made since 2017. Turns out that the car’s expensive nickel-cobalt-manganese batteries, which promised a range of more than 250 miles and greater energy density, carried the risk of catching fire. The company has since said it’s found a fix, with the recall’s $1.8 billion cost to be mostly covered by the battery’s maker, South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd.

You can’t blame GM for trying. Driven by a blinding urge to be market leaders as they invest billions of dollars to meet tough emissions regulations, GM and many of its peers have found themselves backing unproven technologies. Countries, in turn, are caught in an arms race to lead the world’s electric future.

Yet there is one hopeful outlier: China. As the world’s biggest source of new carbon emissions, the country has taken deliberate and difficult steps to push toward electrification. In doing so, China is showing how an older, stable battery technology — paired with effective industrial policy — could be the way forward.

To be sure, the history of Beijing’s industrial policy is checkered. Decades of misguided and unfocused cash-slinging by state-owned enterprises pushed industries as varied as rubber, cotton and chemicals...

Read Full Story: https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/3338616/anjani-trivedi/how-chinas-car-batteries-conquered-world

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