"Under the big strategy" power lithium-ion battery manufacturers face multiple challenges

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      'In the past few years, LG headquarters will give us some shipment evaluations, but in the past two years it has not been used at all, because the output of power lithium-ion batteries is in short supply.' Songgang Technology Co., Ltd. general manager Yan Chenqi in the third In an interview with China Business Daily, China (Wuhan) stated that as the authorized agent of LG lithium-ion batteries in South Korea, Yan Chenqi has almost experienced the whole process of the lithium-ion battery market from high demand, high gross profit to price stability and even price wars. He believes that the current demand for the 3C industry, which has a large demand for lithium-ion batteries, has basically peaked, and his contribution to the rising demand for lithium-ion batteries in the future will be very limited. Correspondingly, 'the demand for power lithium-ion batteries has just begun, and the market will at least grow rapidly in the next five years. Five years later, with the development of energy storage technology, energy storage batteries will also have a lot of room for development.'

       The important reason for the increase in the price of lithium carbonate is the supply and monopoly of raw materials by upstream foreign lithium suppliers, and the explosive rise of domestic new energy vehicles is the direct cause of this price increase. As a positive electrode material for power lithium-ion batteries, the overall market demand will directly affect the price of raw materials such as lithium carbonate. In September of this year, the global lithium carbonate giant FMC announced that starting from October 1st, the price of its lithium products will be raised globally. Among them, the price of lithium carbonate, lithium chloride, lithium hydroxide and other products will rise by 15%.

       Followed by Ganfeng Lithium, 40% in China; 002460, Cuba and 41; other companies have also increased the price of lithium carbonate. According to industry estimates, the prices of upstream raw materials, including lithium carbonate, will continue to rise in the next 6-12 months. Lithium carbonate is only part of the chain reaction triggered by the surge in demand for power lithium-ion batteries. From last year to this year, the prices of almost all upstream raw materials fluctuated rapidly with market demand, and market demand including electrolytes and diaphragms was also growing rapidly. Yan Chenqi told reporters that in the first two years of making 3C consumer lithium-ion batteries, sales indicators were under great pressure. In recent years, when making power lithium-ion batteries, you don't have to worry about the indicators, just worry about the output not keeping up. At the same time, this very sensitive businessman realized that with the support of national policies, the next-generation power lithium-ion battery and lithium-ion battery market will become the focus of industry competition. He told reporters: 'We are now doing less in 3C. It is important to comply with national policies. The next 10 years will be the golden age of power lithium-ion batteries.' The industry predicts that in the next 10 years, the scale of China's pure power lithium-ion battery industry is expected to exceed 160 billion yuan, and the upstream lithium mineral resources, midstream key materials, and downstream battery assembly markets will usher in a continuous good since last year.

       With multiple challenges, the market started quickly. Data show that China, Japan and South Korea are currently the concentrated areas of the global lithium-ion battery industry, occupying about 95% of the global market share. Stimulated by many new energy vehicle policies, since 2014, China's lithium-ion battery shipments have accounted for about 40%. At the same time, according to agency statistics, nearly 80% of global new investment is concentrated in China, and this proportion is expected to rise further in the future. In this context, the output of power lithium-ion batteries continues to increase. According to statistics, at least 18 listed companies plan to invest in lithium-ion battery projects this year, with an investment of more than 50 billion yuan. The popularity of the market is in sharp contrast with the calm attitude of the industry.

       Huang Yonghe, chief engineer of the Institute of Automotive Technology and Information of the China Automotive Technology Research Center, said in an interview earlier: 'If everyone does this (investment)' will there be overcapacity, and it will affect our entire power lithium-ion battery industry? Greater impact? 'The chief analyst of real Limition Research, Mork, pointed out that compared with the lithium-ion battery giants in South Korea and Japan, Chinese companies have a large number but generally smaller in scale. In 2014, the total global supply of 66.465 million kilowatt-hours, South Korea’s Samsung SDI and LG Chemical and Japan’s Panasonic have 11.283 million kWh, 9.405 million kWh and 9.288 million kWh, respectively, accounting for nearly half of the 45.1% total market share. In China, only companies with an annual power supply exceeding 1 million kWh Ten, accounting for 70.6% of the total power supply of Chinese companies. Although the top three power supplies of Tianjin Lishen, ATL and BYD exceed 3 million kWh, the sum of the three is only 10.473 million kWh, which is lower than Samsung SDI. At the same time, there is a significant gap in the quality of domestic lithium battery products compared with foreign investment.

       According to the editor of KAMCY, the current pass rate of Korean and Japanese giants has reached the level of 1ppm, that is, in the production of 1 million batteries, there is only one or no failure rate, while the pass rate of battery products of Chinese companies can reach 90%. It is very good. In terms of technology R&D investment and path, Chinese companies also have no dominant power and have been adopting a follow-up strategy. A person who has been concerned about the lithium-ion battery industry for a long time told reporters that before this, China's lithium-ion battery route had always been dominated by lithium iron phosphate, because most American companies adopted this route. However, in this process, it was discovered that lithium iron phosphate could not make a major breakthrough in energy density. Now domestic production companies are turning to the same ternary material battery research and development as Korean companies. The swing of this line has made Chinese companies lose their advantages in technology accumulation, and subsequent strategies have made it difficult for the entire industry to make major breakthroughs.

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