Surging battery prices and shortages of metals and materials are likely to last for some time, Toyota’s chief scientist has warned, trends that could weigh on the world’s embrace of electric vehicles.

The shift to EVs over the past decade has been driven by steadily falling battery prices, a dynamic that’s enabled plug-in vehicles to travel longer at costs approaching those of gasoline-powered cars. Now, manufacturers are running low on supplies of lithium, nickel and other key battery inputs, with trade frictions and the war in Ukraine exacerbating issues and forcing prices higher.

It’s not just these gyrations, Gill Pratt said in a recent interview at the Toyota Research Institute in Los Altos, California. The question is whether the industry has "invested the right amounts in different parts of the supply chain to make this change so fast,” said Pratt, TRI’s founding CEO.