Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Almost every week, another major automaker announces a billion-dollar-plus investment in battery manufacturing, and with it, thousands of new American jobs.

Why it matters: Eyeing President Biden's climate agenda, carmakers are racing to create a domestic battery supply chain to support their aggressive rollout of electric vehicles by the end of the decade.

  • They want to avoid another crisis like the current semiconductor shortage, which forced them to slash vehicle production because they can't get enough computer chips from Asia.

Driving the news: This week, Toyota and Stellantis (Chrysler and Jeep's parent) joined the chorus of automakers planning to build giant battery factories in North America.

  • The moves follow other U.S. battery manufacturing commitments, by Ford and General Motors, as well as Korean battery suppliers SK Innovation and LG Chem.
  • For now, these moves are ahead of demand. But forecasters predict the EV shift will occur quickly as more plug-in models are introduced and governments increase requirements for zero-emissions vehicles to fight climate change.
  • When those pieces fall into place, the world's carmakers are likely to be in an all-out war to secure battery metals and other materials needed to produce them.

By the numbers: Americans purchase about 17 million vehicles a year, and Biden's goal is for half of them to be electric by 2030.

  • Each 30-gigawatt battery factory is enough to power about 300,000 vehicles, notes Kristin Dziczek, vice president at the Center for Automotive Research.
  • That means it would take at least 30 battery factories — employing about 2,000 workers each — to meet Biden's 50% target (not accounting for the fact that half of cars sold in the U.S. are imported.).
  • There are a total of 19 existing or planned cell manufacturing plants in the U.S., but not all of them are on the scale of Tesla's gigafactory in Nevada.

Yes, but: By 2030, the U.S. is still expected to account for less than 14% of global battery capacity, compared with China's 66%.

  • And despite pouring billions of dollars into battery cell production, the industry isn't doing nearly enough to prepare for a historic shift to electrification, experts say.

Among those sounding the alarm is Tesla co-founder J.B. Straubel, who said on a recent podcast that automakers' ambitions to go all-electric ignore the complex realities of EV production.

  • "I don’t think they’ve done the math fully [on] what that entails on the supply chain and tracing it all the way back, literally all the way back to the mines," said Straubel, who is CEO of battery recycler and cathode manufacturer Redwood Materials.
  • "You need to do that, or else, you know, you haven’t really solved it."
  • "It has the feeling to me of kind of like a giant overbooked flight. All these people are like, ‘Oh, this is great. We’re all gonna go to that new place. ... Let’s all get on the plane and go'," without building the aircraft, the runway or the air traffic control system.

The big picture: Automakers jumped into electric vehicle production with both feet in 2021, especially in North America and Europe.

  • Globally, the industry plans to spend $330 billion on EVs, up 40% from last year, notes Alix Partners, which tracks investments on a five-year rolling basis.
  • What's new is the effort to build battery cells in-house, instead of importing them from Asia, said John Loehr, a managing director in the consulting firm's automotive and industrial practice.
  • "Five years ago, the industry would have thought it natural to buy batteries — just like seats, electrical components and mufflers."

What to watch: While battery manufacturing plants get built at a record pace, the big question is how the U.S. will fill in the other gaps in the supply chain.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 1, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on America's manufacturing future

On Wednesday, December 1st, Axios markets reporter Courtenay Brown and business reporter Hope King explored how new technologies and sustainability commitments are setting a new standard for domestic industrial manufacturing, featuring Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Siemens USA president and CEO Barbara Humpton.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow explained how government leaders and the manufacturing sector are responding to the current supply chain crisis and reinforced the important role domestic manufacturing plays in fostering economic growth and national security.

  • On the supply chain crisis and chip manufacturing: “We’re seeing a little bit of improvement happening, but we’ve got a long ways to go because when you shut down this type of operation and then work on getting it up and going again, it’s not like turning on a switch...there’s a lot of safety testing and standards that have to be met to make these.”
  • On the importance of domestic manufacturing: “Manufacturing, as it moves and changes in more advanced manufacturing and technology, is a very important part of our economy to be successful and to provide good paying jobs, it’s also part of our national defense and is part of what is important for us in terms of leading the world.”

Barbara Humpton described the issues plaguing supply chains, how companies are adapting to improve production timelines, and how manufacturers are thinking about the transition to renewable energy.

  • On the urgency of the supply chain crisis for global economies: “The supply chain obviously is a critical issue for all of us. From the first disruptions we saw due to COVID to all of the really crazy things that happened in 2021, the supply chain has really risen as the issue right now for our economies all around the world.”
  • On the transition to renewable energy: “I know there are plenty of advocates who would love to see us make an immediate switch to all renewable energy, but let’s face it, we’re going to be in a decade when we need to be transitioning from fossil fuels to other alternatives. While we’re working our way through that transition, we can find lots of greener, more effective, more efficient sources of fuel, more efficient ways to use clean natural gas, for instance, in order to support our industries.”

Axios SVP of Product & Technology Melanie Colton hosted a View from the Top segment with SAFE Commanding Heights executive director Dr. Jeffrey Jeb Nadaner, who discussed how the U.S. can reestablish itself as a leader in manufacturing.

  • “One of the issues we have today is how do we restore that manufacturing base? The good news is that we have the technology, we have the people. It’s a question of having the right policies and the right incentives by the U.S. government to make a favorable business climate for industry to want to build those fabrication plants in the U.S. once again.”

Thank you SAFE for sponsoring this event.

Your electric car could become a virtual power plant

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

That electric car parked in your driveway may soon be more than a fun, emissions-free ride. When lashed together in the cloud with other EVs in your neighborhood, it could help utilities manage electricity demand in your community.

Why it matters: Massive growth in electric vehicle adoption which is widely expected — means that more car owners will be plugging in at home, putting pressure on America's electric grid but creating power-sharing opportunities at the same time.

  • Emerging smart-charging technologies aim to build in more flexibility so grid upgrades aren't needed and EV owners will have all the juice they need.

What's happening: EV owners can earn rebates and cash rewards from smart-charging programs by letting utilities control when their car is charged based on overall electricity demand.

  • In Texas, for example, about 1,000 EV owners participate in a smart-charging project with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).
  • Together, those cars serve as a cloud-based "virtual power plant" that ERCOT can use to suck or store energy during demand peaks and valleys.
  • In Wisconsin, Madison Gas and Electric shifts charging times for 200 EVs to off-peak hours so they can soak up renewable energy generated overnight by wind farms.
  • Both utilities license the smart-charging technology from a London-based company called ev.energy, which has offices in Palo Alto.

The big picture: EV owners do more than 80% of their charging at home, according to a BloombergNEF analysis of ev.energy data from more than 1 million at-home charging sessions in the U.S., U.K. and Europe.

  • Most of them plug in after work, start charging right away, and stay plugged in overnight, often setting the departure time for their morning commute.

Yes, but: The typical charging session requires just a little top-off — 2.5 hours of charging — which means most EVs are drawing energy in the early evening when residential demand is at its peak and electricity rates are highest.

Smart-charging technology can delay charging until demand has gone down, and greener, cheaper energy is more readily available.

  • That lets utilities balance electricity demand while also maximizing the use of renewable energy and putting more money in EV owners' pockets.
  • An EV owner in California could save an estimated $600 per year charging at off-peak times, BNEF found.

How it works: EV owners plug in their car, set a departure time using ev.energy's app, and let the utility figure out the ideal charging time based on a 24-hour forecast of energy demand.

  • If necessary, the software will pause charging at the utility's request, then resume later.
  • Car owners' flexibility earns them rebates or cash rewards of $5 or $10 a month.

The utility will never drain the car's battery, says Joseph Vellone, head of North America for ev.energy. "Your departure time is the holy grail."

  • "The electricity system is incredibly complex. EV buyers can’t be bothered to immerse themselves in this complexity. We ask them one question: What time do you need your car charged by?"

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show that Madison Gas and Electric shifts charging times for 200 EVs to off-peak hours for maximum efficiency, not 2,000 EVs. A partner company, ev.energy, reached out to say there was a numerical mistake in the report it shared with Axios.

Updated 9 mins ago - Health

Massage, facial, pedicure... intravenous drip?

A salon on the Upper East Side of New York that offers IV drip therapies. Photo: Jennifer A. Kingson/Axios

IV drips — the kind you might get if you're rushed to the hospital — are trending as a spa treatment, thanks in part to endorsements by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Madonna.

Why it matters: Like other "wellness" trends with a whiff of medical imprimatur, IV nutrient drips can be harmless or mildly restorative — or go awry, particularly in the wrong hands.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!