Climate Change Risk Putting a Damper on Electric-Car Making, Bloomberg
Climate disasters are threatening to impinge upon the flourishing of electric-car making around the world, according to Bloomberg.
Droughts in China and Germany are giving the industry a glimpse of the threats posed by global warming, the US agency points out, adding that automakers racing to make more electric vehicles have a problem: climate change is catching up with the industry.
On Monday, authorities in China’s Sichuan province, the source of about a fifth of the country’s lithium production, extended electricity cuts to some industrial users as the most intense heat wave in more than 60 years depletes reservoirs used for hydropower, Blooberg reports.
Last week, Volkswagen said its factory in the region was affected by the power shortage and that it expected a slight delay in deliveries to customers. Toyota and battery maker CATL have temporarily closed factories.
Tesla and China’s SAIC Motor told authorities in Shanghai that they may have difficulty maintaining production if the power crunch continues to impact suppliers, according to the US news agency, which added that in the German states of Brandenburg and Saxony, where Tesla and BMW operate car factories, authorities had to ask the military for help fighting several forest fires this summer.
Many carmakers list climate change as business risk factors. Tesla, for instance, warns that if climate-related disasters occur, its headquarters and production facilities “may be seriously damaged, or we may have to stop or delay production and shipment of our products”, Bloomberg reports, noting that while manufacturers clearly realize climate change may hit their production networks, their actions don’t always line up with the severity of the threats. Companies continue to set up water-intensive manufacturing sites in regions where supply is increasingly scarce.