Biden Plan To Rev Up Electric Car Market Complicated By Battery Supplies

"A dispute between Korean battery makers over a Georgia plant shows weakness in the U.S. supply chain"

"President Biden’s ambitious plan to jump-start the U.S. electric vehicle market faces a roadblock: a weak supply chain that is making it difficult for American automakers to get enough batteries to scale up production.

And that shortage could get worse, depending on whether Biden intervenes this week in a dispute between two top South Korean manufacturers over moves by one to open a battery plant in Georgia to serve the U.S. market. Hanging in the balance are plans by Volkswagen and Ford to roll out about 340,000 new electric vehicles over the next several years.

The two South Korean rivals, SK Innovation and LG Energy Solution, are fighting over a factory that SK has been building in Commerce, Ga., to serve VW and Ford, among others. LG accused SK of stealing trade secrets, and the U.S. International Trade Commission agreed, ruling that SK can make batteries in Georgia for only four years before it must essentially shut down its new plant."

Steven Mufson reports for the Washington Post April 4, 2021.

Source: Washington Post, 04/05/2021