Intercalation Survey Results

A brief snapshot of the battery industry in 2021

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📝 Intercalation Survey

Last month, we launched our annual Intercalation survey to learn more about you and to understand the state of the industry and we’re excited to share the results with you.

1. Technology & Manufacturing

With the steadily improving performance of baseline technologies and falling projected costs, we were curious how many thought next-gen materials (e.g. solid-state, lithium metal) and high-performance cathodes (e.g. NMC) were still necessary for the future. Turns out, a lot of you think they’re necessary, and that Asian countries would become the powerhouse for manufacturing by 2025.

Of all the different battery technology innovations today, you thought (1) Silicon anodes, (2) Fuel cells, and (3) Lithium metal were the closest to market readiness.

2. EV Consumer Behavior

Today, about 14% of you drive an EV/PHEV, 61% plan for your next purchase to be an EV/PHEV, and 20% voted you would not purchase one in the near future.

What was most important to prospective and current EV drivers? The three most important factors were (1) Vehicle cost, (2) Safety, and (3) Range. Fast charging (which is often quoted as the #1 factor in other surveys) came in 4th.

3. Industry

With the battery industry picking up significant traction with growing revenues and no extra difficulty in securing funding, there was an indication that finding talent has actually become a bottleneck for growth.

Overall, there is a positive outlook with more companies thinking about ethics and sustainability in their battery materials, and thinking about business and innovation models in the future, beyond lithium-ion.

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About: Andrew is a PhD researcher at the University of Oxford (@ndrewwang). Nicholas is a Business Manager at UCL Business and Venture Fellow with Berkeley SkyDeck (@nicholasyiu). Ethan is a battery scientist and researcher in Jeff Dahn’s Research Group (@ethandalter).