Report reveals boom in global investment in batteries, as sector records $116 billion in two years


As Zambia ponders on migrating to use of electric vehicles, a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has revealed that international investment in batteries has in the last two years boomed, reaching US$116 billion.

The 2023 World Investment Report by UNCTAD released this month has, therefore, suggested an increased investment in electricity charging infrastructure as electric vehicles become more common.

The report stated that international investment in batteries had boomed in the last two years, reaching US$116 billion in 2022, with many new battery producers setting up manufacturing facilities, mainly in developed countries and especially in the United States.

“The value of international investment projects announced in battery production in 2022 was almost twice that for electric vehicles and internal combustion engine car manufacturing combined, driven by international competition to develop this technology,” the report stated.

The top investors in electric vehicles and batteries (combined) included all the major car producers, with Tesla (United States) topping the ranking, followed by BMW (Germany), Hyundai (Republic of Korea), Toyota (Japan) and Volkswagen (Germany).

Read more: Zambian govt in talks with electric vehicle manufacturers, may ban cars causing pollution soon

In May this year, Finance and National Planning Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, said Government had opened discussions with South African manufacturers of vehicles in its quest to ban engines that smoke, and switch to electric ones.

Musokotwane said at the African Development Bank annual meetings in Egypt that some of the companies which had been engaged to produce electric vehicles in Zambia were Volkswagen, BMW and Toyota.

UNCTAD in its report indicated that countries would have to invest more in electricity charging infrastructure as they pursued efforts in this space.

“As electric vehicles become more common, investment in electricity charging infrastructure should increase. However, most of these projects are currently undertaken by domestic investors.

“The number of international projects recorded accounts for only one fifth of total projects. Moreover, very few projects to develop electric vehicle charging stations are recorded in developing economies,” UNCTAD stated in its report.

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