Opportunities to develop the lithium-ion battery value chain in South Africa

The world of mobility is changing rapidly and the marketing of all types of electric vehicles is growing exponentially.

Coupled with technological disruptions in the energy sector, the rise of electric vehicles puts battery technology at the heart of sustainable development. In a market currently dominated by lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), multiple technologies and chemicals are competing.

Both the South African government and South African industry have announced their intention to position the local value chain as a key player for the mobility of the future. This is crucial to ensure a fair transition to electromobility, which in particular would preserve, if not increase, job creation. South Africa is home to a vibrant automotive value chain. However, this domestic industry produces vehicles and components with internal combustion engines.

Therefore, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization initiated and funded a research project, Ways to Develop the Value Chain for Lithium Ion Batteries in South Africa, to investigate the possibilities for South Africa to play a role in the LIB value chain. The main report and the policy briefing were prepared by Trade and Investment Policies (TIPS) on behalf of the Low Carbon Transport – South Africa (LCT-SA) project. The project was initiated and financed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The TIPS team consists of: Gaylor Montmasson-Clair, Lesego Moshikaro and Lerato Monaisa. It was overseen by a steering committee made up of Ashanti Mogosetsi (UNIDO), Marie Blanche Ting (UNIDO), Gerhard Fourie (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Competition – dtic), Hiten Parmar (uYilo) and Jenitha Badul (Ministry of Environment). Forestry and Fisheries – DEFF), Shahkira Parker (DEFF), Bopang Khutsoane (Ministry of Transport – DoT), Marleen Goudkamp (DoT), Minnesh Bipath (South African National Energy Development Institute – SANEDI) and Tebogo Snyer (SANEDI). Phillip Ninela (the dtic), Umeesha Naidoo (the dtic) and Mandisa Nkosi (UNIDO) acted as the internal technical task team.

Read the main report here

Read the Policy Brief here

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