China batteries in U.S. tariff plan for power tools, not EVs

Chinese batteries in the crosshairs of proposed U.S. tariffs are primarily used in consumer goods like power tools, and would have little impact on the type used by electric vehicles or power projects, according to UBS Group AG. Among the Chinese-made goods U.S. President Donald Trump is proposing to tax are lithium primary cells and batteries, as well as nickel-cadmium and lead-acid batteries, according to a report from the U.S. Trade Representative office. Those types are mainly used in consumer applications, said UBS analyst Lachlan Shaw.

 

“Any impact on EV battery supply would be minimal to nil,” Shaw said by phone. “It is lithium-ion rechargeable cells that are the ones that largely go into EVs.” Almost all the electric passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. use lithium-ion batteries that are produced in the U.S. or imported from South Korea, Japan and Canada, Ali Izadi-Najafabadi, an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in an email. The batteries targeted in the proposed tariffs are used in watches, hearing-aids and smoke-alarms, he said. The duties will probably affect companies such as Exide and Johnson Controls, which imports lead acid batteries from facilities in China, according to GTM Research energy analyst Ravi Manghani.
Sources and photo-credits: Bloomberg