Volvo has taken the decision to go for electric/hybrid from 2019! A courageous decision and in some way as visionary as Elon Musk's ambitions.
Kodak a leader in argentic photography did not believe in the future of digital camera and we know the consekquences. Technology evolutions self-impose, pushed by some entrepreneurs and supported by customer needs and project financing. Nevertheless the supply chain has to evolve too. Raw material sourcing and sustanability concerns represent key elements to enable long term perspectives.
Less than 1% of cars on the road today are electric powered. Small..but Electric car (EV) sales were up 42% in 2016, about eight times faster than growth in the overall market.
Today the Li-ion batteries are based on an old but proven technology, which uses existing manufacturing processes. They will probably change in the future, but today the challenge is to secure the raw material supply and to decrease the cost of KWh per battery pack.
Tesla annouced through Elon Musk tweet that the first thirty Tesla 3 will be delivered to customer from the end of this month. Production would then ramp up to 1500 EV's in September. It appears that the delivery pace was impacted by "a severe production shortfall of 100kWh battery packs". Exploration for lithium and the rising of new projects require the time of development. The supply chain is streched on both extremities, which will also shake the value chain for sometime.
Coming back to the Volvo decision, the fact that Geely is the owner of the company is of importance. China has taken significant decisions to develop its batteries' raw material supply chain for the long term.
If such decison should have to spread over the entire car industry, the PGM market and south africa mining industry could face significant changes.