Chinese battery firms are aiming to have their products power all sorts of machinery beyond electric vehicles (EVs) in the West, even as the batteries have had a tendency to burst into flames, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday.
The Chinese electric battery industry is growing at a faster pace than the rest of the world’s battery production combined, and Chinese battery companies of all sizes and specializations are looking to aggressively expand into Western markets to capitalize as Western governments pursue a green energy transition, according to Bloomberg. Beyond their application in EVs, Chinese manufacturers are producing lithium-ion batteries to use for powering homes, bicycles, forklifts, helicopters and campsites, even as the batteries have demonstrated a propensity to burst into flames.
China controls 83% of the global supply chain for lithium, a key mineral needed to build the batteries that proponents of green technology highlight as an essential crux of their vision for the future, according to Bloomberg. Beyond national and energy security concerns posed by China’s supply chain dominance, lithium ion batteries have been the cause of numerous fires across the U.S. in recent years, with their flames and toxic fumes causing fatalities and injuries. (RELATED: ‘A Mad Scramble’: One Rare Mineral May Spell Doom For The Electric Vehicle Market)
Fox News Contributor: “[China] are building a Ford Motor…battery plant in Michigan to take advantage of the Inflation Reduction Act so that American taxpayers can fund a Chinese battery manufacturer.” pic.twitter.com/y6jjxqOkrq
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 20, 2023
Lithium ion batteries have caused at least 113 fires so far in New York City in 2023, killing at least 13 people and leaving an additional 71 others injured, according to local outlet ABC 7. One of those fires left four people dead and another two in critical condition in June, and lithium ion batteries were to blame for two fires that occurred on Friday, according to ABC 7.
In 2022, lithium ion batteries were responsible for at least 140 fires, injuring 140 people and killing six in New York City, according to a November bulletin posted by the New York Fire Department (FDNY) in the New York City Record. In that November 2022 bulletin, the FDNY unveiled a new requirement for landlords mandating that they instruct their tenants to not charge e-bikes in their apartments.
One fire attributed to a lithium ion battery malfunction set a residential building in New York City ablaze in November 2022, resulting in 38 injuries, a figure which included five emergency responders.
The Biden administration is aggressively pursuing electrified transportation as part of its wider aim to have the U.S. economy reach net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. The administration announced in June its intention to subsidize around $1.7 billion to fund purchases of electric buses for municipal fleets, even as at least three electric buses from different parts of the country have burst into flames since July 2022.
That funding complements $3.3 billion already spent on the administration’s bus electrification project and its plans to dole out an additional $5 billion over the next three years, as outlined in the bipartisan infrastructure law, according to The Associated Press.
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