Energy use for GWh-scale lithium-ion battery production
Estimates of energy use for lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery cell manufacturing show substantial variation, contributing to disagreements regarding the environmental benefits of large-scale deployment of electric mobility and other battery applications. Here, energy usage is estimated for two large-scale battery cell factories using publicly available data. It is concluded that these facilities use around 50–65 kWh (180–230 MJ) of electricity per kWh of battery capacity, not including other steps of the supply chain, such as mining and processing of materials. These estimates are lower than previous studies using data on pilot-scale or under-utilized facilities but are similar to recent estimates based on fully utilized, large-scale factories. The environmental impact of battery manufacturing varies with the amounts and form of energy used; especially as renewable sources replace electricity from fossil fuels. As additional large-scale battery factories are taken into use, more data should become available, and the reliance on outdated, unrepresentative, and often incomparable, estimates of energy usage in the emerging Li-ion battery industry should be avoided.
life cycle assessment