The advanced automotive battery business is booming. (Not literally. That would be bad.) In just the past few weeks there have been announcements of new battery production plants by Ford Motor Co. in Kentucky and an expansion of battery operations in Michigan by General Motors Co. and its partners.
And on just one day — Oct. 18 — Toyota Motor Corp. said it will invest more than $3 billion in U.S. battery manufacturing, Chrysler owner Stellantis said it is working with supplier LG Energy on a $35 billion electrification project that includes batteries and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined American Battery Solutions Inc. as it said it will invest more than $7 million to triple the size of its base in Michigan.
LG Energy also said earlier this year it expects its suppliers to locate near their operations.
It's that kind of continuous buzz that is prompting materials suppliers and molders to present their best products for all those batteries. Just consider the number of times electric vehicles came up in news coverage from Fakuma 2021 last week — at least seven by my count.
For just two examples, look at competitors DuPont Co. and BASF SE. At Fakuma, both companies highlighted how their materials will be suited for EVs.
"The key is safety — how to make a battery pack safe," said Giacomo Parisi, DuPont's global marketing director for automotive electrification.
"We're preparing for new trends in e-mobility," added Jürgen Becky, senior vice president of performance materials Europe at BASF. "We're developing new safety concepts for our materials in powertrains and components."