Scott Keogh, the CEO and President of Volkswagen Group of America has reportedly said that the United States is facing major challenges while accelerating battery production to ease the transition to electric vehicles.
Both battery and vehicle manufacturers are making heavy investments to establish new battery plants as well as EV assembly lines across North America in an effort to ramp up EV production. Keogh said that the U.S. will have to overcome a series of obstacles in carrying out this move, which include supply chain issues, attracting skilled workers, and increasing mining in the country for key minerals in order to produce lithium batteries.
Apart from these elements, education, healthcare, and infrastructure have to be addressed as well. The Volkswagen executive further claimed that the battery production industry will rely on investment, infrastructure, and labor, adding that potentially hundreds of thousands might be employed by 2030.
It is to be noted that U.S. President Joe Biden has already also set a goal that 50% of new-vehicle sales will be hybrid or electric vehicles by 2030. However, he has not set a specific date by which the sale of gas-powered vehicles will be phasing out.
Keogh estimated that the country’s current battery production is around 150,000-200,000 annually, and in seven years will be 8.5 million annually. He added that the industrial revolution will look like nothing in comparison to the extent of this investment.
The United States will need to boost its EV and battery manufacturing capacity, as the sector saw a fall in the number of available jobs from 17 million in 2000 to 12.8 million currently. Apart from this, a collective ecosystem should be built to turn back the country into a manufacturing society, which he believes has turned into a service society, Scott Keogh concluded.