1 The rapid growth of the power battery industry and the rise of Chinese battery companies
1.1 Over a thousand-fold growth in ten years, there is still much space for future
Benefiting from the expansion of production and sales scale of new energy vehicles and the increasing charged volume, the power battery market has maintained rapid growth. According to the statistics of China Machine Center Certification, during 2009-2018, China ’s power battery installed capacity increased from 0.028GWh to 57.04GWh, a thousand times increase over ten years, and a compound annual growth rate of 233.17%. According to statistics from SNE Research and China Machine Center, from January to May 2019, the installed capacity of power batteries in the global market was 41.76GWh, YOY increase of 78.00%; the installed capacity of power batteries in the domestic market was 23.37GWh, YOY increase of 83.94%.
There is still much space for development in the industry. According to the estimation of 5.9 million new energy vehicle production in 2025, the demand for power batteries will reach 330.6GWh, compared with 57.07GWh in 2018, the corresponding annual compound growth rate is 28.52%.
1.2 Intensified industry competition and structural excess capacity
Downstream new energy vehicles have entered the growth period from the introduction period, subsided subsidence, and increased technical performance requirements have intensified the survival of the fittest in the battery industry, which increased market concentration. According to statistics from the China Automotive Technology and Research Center, according to the group's caliber, there were only 93 new energy vehicle power battery supporting companies in China in 2018, a decrease of nearly two-thirds compared to 240 in 2015. According to statistics from the certification data, the domestic power battery market CR3, CR5, CR10 share has continued to increase since 2015. In July 2019, the market CR3, CR5, CR10 accounted for 84%, 89%, and 94% respectively, compared with 2015 36%, 48%, and 71% increased 48, 41, and 23 percentage points, respectively.
Table 4: Number of power battery supporting companies
The overall production capacity is excessive and structural problems are prominent. Due to factors such as industry scale effects, policy support, and capital inflows, China's power battery production capacity has expanded rapidly. Currently, there is a serious overcapacity, with insufficient high-end capacity and inefficient low-end capacity utilization. According to Wang Zidong, director of National 863 Electric Vehicle Major Power Battery Test Center, China ’s total power battery production capacity reached 260GWh in 2018, with sales of only 50GWh. According to GGII statistics, in 2019Q2, the overall capacity utilization rate of China's power battery companies was only 32.4%, and in 2018, the leading CATL capacity utilization rate was as high as 86%, while the third-ranked Gateway power capacity utilization rate was only 49% and less than half, evenly, Phylion’s utilization rate is only 25%.
Table 7: Utilization rate of domestic power battery companies in 2018
Under the combined effects of intensified competition, subsidy subsidence, scale effect and other factors, battery prices have fallen rapidly, and some have approached 1 RMB / Wh. At present, domestic power battery systems are mainly divided into lithium ferrous phosphate (LFP, cathode material), ternary nickel cobalt manganese (NCM, cathode material), lithium titanate (LTO, anode material), and lithium manganate (LMO, cathode) four kinds based on material system. According to statistics, the selling prices of LFP, NCM, LTO, and LMO power battery packs in the first quarter of 2014 were 2.80, 2.90, 4.00, and 2.10 RMB / Wh respectively. By the second quarter of 2019, the selling prices had dropped to 1.05, 1.10, and 1.80 1.00 RMB / Wh respectively, corresponding to a decrease of 62.5%, 62.0%, 55.0%, 52.4%.
1.3 Rise of Local Power Battery Manufacturers
Local power battery manufacturers account for more than half of the global market. According to SNE Research, from January to May 2019, the Top 10 global power battery installed companies are: CATL, Panasonic, BYD, LG Chemical, AESC, Guoxuan High-Tech, Samsung SDI, PEVE, SKI, Lishen; local manufacturers have five seats in Top 10 and own a total market share of 48.6%, and also they have three seats among Top 5 companies. CATL ranks first in the world with market share of 25.4%.
Domestic manufacturers account for the vast majority of market share in the domestic market. Due to restrictions on financial subsidies and white lists of power batteries, foreign installed capacity in China is very low. According to GGII statistics, in the first half of 2019, the top 10 domestic power battery installation companies were CATL, BYD, Guoxuan High-Tech, Lishen, Eternal Lithium, AVIC Lithium, BAK, PFC, and CENAT, all of which are local manufacturers. , Occupying a total market share of 87.9%.
2 Policy side: Encourage enterprises to become stronger, market-oriented, and opening up further
In order to guide healthy and sustainable development of China's power battery industry, the country has introduced nearly 30 major policies in a targeted manner, mainly focusing on two aspects: industry competition management and technical planning and guidance.
2.1 Competition Management: From Enlargement to strengthen encouragement ,Opening up further to the Outside World and Introduce International Competition
Government competition management policy orientation is mainly divided into two stages:
1) The first stage is to support the growth of enterprises. In May 2015, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued the "Specification Conditions for the Automotive Power Storage Battery Industry", which requires that the annual production capacity of power battery companies should not be less than 2000 million Wh. The "Regulation Conditions for the Lithium-ion Battery Industry" released in September 2015 is further subdivided into detail capacity of positive electrodes, negative electrode, separator, electrolyte four raw materials. In addition, the enterprises clearly listed in the announcement will serve as the basis for relevant policy support. From November 2015 to June 2016, four batches of qualified enterprise directories (commonly known as power battery whitelists) were released, with a total of 57 manufacturers, mainly domestic companies such as CATL, Tianjin Lishen, Guoxuan High-tech.
2) The second stage is to encourage enterprises to become stronger. In December 2018, National Development and Reform Commission issued the “Regulations on the Management of Investment in the Automotive Industry”, requiring only power battery companies that have not less than 80% utilization rate of vehicle power batteries in the previous two years can expand production capacity. In January 2019, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued the "Standard Conditions for the Lithium-Ion Battery Industry (2018 Edition) (Consultation Draft)", removing the requirements for enterprise capacity and then encouraging enterprises to manufacture digitally and intelligently. In addition, in 2019, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a notice of "Abolishing the" Specification Conditions for the Automotive Power Battery Industry "”. The white list of power batteries has been cancelled since June 21, 2019.
In the future, powerful foreign companies such as LG Chemicals and Samsung SDI will re-enter the Chinese market. The domestic power battery industry will usher in more intense competition, and downstream vehicle companies will have more product choices.
Table 11: Review of competition management policies for the power battery industry
|File name||Relevant departments||Main content|
|Automotive power battery industry specifications||Ministry of Industry and Information Technology||The annual production capacity of lithium-ion battery cells must not be lower than 200WHh; the annual production capacity of system companies must not be lower than 10,000 sets or 200MWh; the list of listed companies will serve as the basis for relevant policy support|
|Li-ion battery industry specifications||Ministry of Industry and Information Technology||The annual production capacity of lithium-ion enterprise batteries is not less than 100MWh; the annual production capacity of anode materials is not less than 2,000 tons; the annual production capacity of separators is not less than 20 million square meters; the annual production capacity of Electrolyte bath is not less than 2,000 tons; the annual production capacity of Electrolyte is not less than 500 tons.|
|Regulations on Investment Management of the Automotive Industry||Development and Reform Commission||Capacity Expansion Project of Existing Vehicle Power Battery Enterprises: last two annual vehicle power battery capacity utilization rates were not less than 80%|
|Lithium-ion battery industry specifications (2018 version) (draft for comments)||Ministry of Industry and Information Technology||Cancel the requirement for annual battery capacity, and add: R & D expenditure should not be less than 3% of the company's main business income for that year; Enterprises that mainly produce lithium-ion battery products for military, medical, and wearable equipment are not subject to production scale and technology Technical limitations. New intelligent manufacturing content: Encourage enterprises to promote production equipment networking and information systems such as ERP, MES. SRM, WMS, and promote the digital construction of enterprises. Encourage companies to integrate automation, informationization and intelligence into all aspects of design, production, management and service.|
|Repeal of "Specifications for Automotive Power Storage Battery Industry"||Ministry of Industry and Information Technology||As of June 21, 2019, the “Specification Conditions for Automobile Power Storage Battery Industry” (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Announcement 2015 No. 22) was abolished, and the first, second, third, and fourth batch of catalogs that met the specifications were abolished simultaneously. .|
2.2 Technical Guidance: Some technical indicators have achieved policy goals, and future or more rely on market choices
At present, from the perspective of industrial development, performance indicators such as the energy density, cycle life, charging rate, and service life of the monomer have all reached or even exceeded the 2020 policy goals, but the energy density of the Pack still has a long way to go. In terms of battery cost, the current average price of ternary batteries is about 1.05 RMB / Wh and the average price of lithium ferrous phosphate batteries is about 1 RMB / Wh. The price of ternary batteries is still slightly higher than the policy target.
1) Monomer energy density: Partially achieved. The "Action Plan for Promoting the Development of the Automotive Power Battery Industry" (hereinafter referred to as the "Promotion Plan") proposes that the specific energy of power battery cells in 2020 will be greater than 300Wh / kg. At the end of 2018, the specific energy of China's mass-produced power battery cells reached 265 Wh / kg. The energy density of the NCA ternary high specific energy lithium battery developed by Tianjin Lishen in 2019 is 303Wh / kg.
2) Pack energy density: The gap is large. The "Promotion Plan" proposes that the specific energy of Pack will reach 260Wh / kg by 2020. According to the statistics of the eighth batch of "recommended models for the promotion and application of new energy vehicles" in 2019, the vast majority of Pack specific energy is between 140-160Wh / kg, of which the Emgrand JHC7002BEV41 pure electric car has the highest, and the specific energy of Pack is 182.44Wh / kg.
3) Temperature characteristics: The leading car companies meet the standard. Promotion Plan points out, the working environmental temperature shall reach -30 degree—55degree by 2020. According to CATL disclosure, their chips work stable in -30degree---60degree.
4) Charging rate: The leading car companies meet the standard. The "Promotion Plan" states that by 2020, power battery systems can have 3C charging capabilities. According to CATL's official website, its 43Ah ternary power battery has a maximum charge rate of 4C.
5) Cycle life: The life of the faucet cell exceeds expectations. "<Made in China 2025> Technology Roadmap for Key Areas (2017 Edition)" states that by 2020, 2025, and 2030, the service life of the pack will reach 10, 12, 15 years. According to CATL's official website, the long-life battery cell developed by it can be recharged 15,000 times and has a service life of up to 15 years (the life of the pack is shorter than the life of the battery cell, and some enterprises are about 80%).
As the new energy vehicle market moves from the introduction phase to the growth phase and the battery safety caused by excessive pursuit of high specific energy, the guiding role of future policies on technical performance may be further weakened, and car companies will be more based on consumer's Actual needs to choose the technical route. In the "New Energy Vehicle Industry Development Plan (2021-2035)" (Consultation Draft) disclosed a few days ago, the policy no longer provides specific design guidance for the performance indicators of power batteries, but emphasizes that companies main position of choosing technology routes, capacity of products production and other aspects.
Table 12 Review of the overall planning policies of the power battery industry
|Release time||File name||Relevant departments||Main content|
|2012. 07. 10||State Council issues and publishes energy-saving and new energy vehicle industry development plans (2012-2020)||State Council||By 2020, the specific energy of power battery modules will reach more than 300Wh / kg, and the cost will fall below 1.5 RMB / Wh.|
|2016. 10. 26||Technology Roadmap for Energy Saving and New Energy Vehicles||China Engineering Society Energy Efficiency and New Energy Vehicle Technology Route Strategic Advisory Committee||Individual energy density in 2020, 2025 and 2030: BEV power batteries are not less than: 350, 400, 500Wh / kg; PHEV power batteries are not less than: 200, 250, 300Wh / kg. 2020, 2025, and 2030 battery system costs: BEV power batteries are not higher than: I, 0.9, 0.8 RMB / Wh; PHEV power batteries are not less than: 1.5, 1.3, 1.1 RMB / Wh.|
|2017. 02. 20||Action Plan to Promote the Development of Automotive Power Battery Industry||Development and Reform Commission of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology||By 2020, the specific energy of power battery cells will exceed 300Wh / kg; the specific energy of the system will strive to reach 260Wh / kg. The cost will fall below 1 RMB / Wh, the use environment will reach -30 degrees to 55 degrees, and it can have 3C charging capacity; The total production capacity exceeds 100 GWh, forming a leading enterprise with an international competitiveness with a production and sales scale of more than 40 GWh. By 2025, the specific energy of the new system's power battery cells will reach 500Wh / kg.|
|2018.01.26||<Made in China 2025> Technology Roadmap for Focus Areas (2017 Edition)||National Manufacturing Power Construction Strategy Advisory Committee||Unit energy density in 2020, 2025, and 2030: 350, 400, 500 Wh / kg; System energy density in 2020, 2025, and 2030: 260, 300, 350 Wh / kg; Unit cost in 2020, 2025, and 2030: 0.6, 0.5 , 0.4 RMB / Wh; 2020, 2025, 2030 system cost: 1.0, 0.9, 0.8 RMB / Wh; 2020, 2025, 2030 system life: 10, 12, 15 years.|
3 Upstream raw materials: high nickel ternary positive electrode, silicon carbon negative electrode, ceramic-coated separator are future trends
Lithium-ion batteries are mainly composed of four major raw materials: positive electrode, negative electrode, separator, and electrolyte. As shown in the figure, Li + comes out of the positive electrode during charging, enters into the electrolyte, and then embedded in the negative electrode. The separator plays a role of conducting ions and blocking electrons. On the other hand, Li + comes out of the negative electrode during discharge and embedded in the positive electrode through the electrolyte.
From the development history of lithium-ion power batteries, higher energy density, safer, and lower cost have always been the core goals for the development of lithium batteries. This also affects the process of the four major raw materials of lithium batteries: positive electrode, negative electrode, separator, and electrolyte. Material technology has put forward higher requirements. This chapter analyzes the current development status and technology trends of the four major raw materials.
3.1 Cathode materials: ternary is the mainstream, high nickelization is the trend, NCA still have distance with foreign countries’
Commercial lithium ion power battery cathode materials mainly include lithium manganate, lithium ferrous phosphate, and ternary systems, of which the ternary system can be subdivided into nickel-cobalt-manganese NCM and nickel-cobalt-aluminum NCA. Ternary materials have obvious advantages in energy density and have become the mainstream of applications.
|Theoretical specific capacity (mAh / g)||148||170||278||278||278||278||279|
|Actual specific capacity (mAh / g)||100-120||130-150||150-170||160-180||170-190||180-210||200-220|
|Battery energy density (Wh / kg)||120-140||140-160||170-190||180-210||210-230||230-270||240-270|
|Cycle life (times)||500-1000||>2000||1500-2000||1500-2000||1500-2000||1500-2000||1500-2000|
|Cost||Low||Low||Relatively High||Relatively High||Relatively High||Middle||Middle|
Due to the increase in energy subsidy thresholds for power battery financial subsidies and consumers' preference for high-endurance new energy vehicles, the proportion of ternary material battery installations continued to increase. According to GGII, the installed capacity of ternary system power batteries in the first half of 2019 was 20.22GWh, with a market share of 67.35%, an increase of 44.46 percentage points from 2016.
High nickel ternary materials (NCM811, NCA) have the advantages of high capacity and low cost. All major power battery companies are vigorously deployed, still in the early stage of industrialization. The domestic power battery giants CATL, BYD, Lishen, and Eternal Lithium Energy all choose the NCM811 technology route; except for foreign giants Panasonic, Samsung SDI, SKI, and LG Chemical all lay out NCM811 and NCA technology routes at the same time. There is still distance between domestic NCA technology and foreign countries.
At present, the safety and production process of high-nickel cathodes need improvement.
1) In terms of safety, the increase in nickel content will cause the thermal stability of the battery to drop sharply. Due to the strong chemical activity of Ni, the thermal stability of ternary materials decreases sharply with the increase of nickel content. The thermal stability temperature of NCM811 is about 230 ℃, which is much lower than 310 ℃ of NCM333.
2) In terms of production technology, the high nickel cathode process is complex and requires higher product consistency. Due to the high activity, mixed cations, and alkalinity of nickel ions, the actual production process is complicated. Compared with conventional ternary materials, ternary high nickel materials need to be formed by higher LiOH, pure oxygen atmosphere, special dehumidification equipment, water washing process to remove surface residual alkali, etc.
Table 17: Investment Progress of Ternary High Nickel / NCA Batteries by Enterprises
|Company name||Current progress|
|CATL||Models equipped with power NCM811 batteries have entered the recommended catalog (Nio ES6, etc.) in 2019|
|BYD||In 2019H2, launches NCM811 battery|
|Lishen||In 2019, models equipped with powered NCM811 batteries have entered the recommended catalog, and NCA has achieved small-scale mass production.|
|Eternal Lithium Energy||Cylindrical battery production line switched to NCM811 production line from 2019|
|Samsung SDI||Already capable of mass production of NCM811 and NCA|
|SKI||Has the capacity to produce NCM811 and NCA. The soft pack battery is mainly NCM622. The development of NCM811 in 2019|
|LG Chem||Already capable of mass production of NCM8I1, NCA|
|Matsushita||Mass production of NCA + silicon carbon anode cylindrical power battery for 21700 type.|
3.2 Anode materials: Artificial graphite is the mainstream, silicon carbon anode is the trend
Lithium-ion battery anode materials mainly include artificial graphite, natural graphite, mesocarbon microspheres (MCMB), and silicon carbon anode. Among them, MCMB has a low gram capacity, consumes a large amount of organic solvents in the production process, and has a low yield, which results in high costs and limited applications. Silicon carbon negative electrode has the highest specific capacity, but the cycle and rate performance is poor and needs to be improved; natural graphite has a higher capacity density than artificial graphite, but the cycle and rate performance is poor, need to be improved; comprehensively, artificial graphite has the best performance.
Table 18: Performance comparison of different anode materials for lithium-ion batteries
|Anode material||Specific energy (mAh/g)||Recycle life(times)||Magnification performance||Safety|
|Silicon carbon anode||380-950||300-500||general||good|
At present, the application of anode materials is mainly from artificial graphite, supplemented by natural graphite. According to GGII statistics, the output of artificial graphite, natural graphite, and other anodes in China in the first half of 2019 was 87,500, 28,800, and 5,000 tons, corresponding to 72.14%, 23.74%, and 4.12%, and artificial graphite accounted for more than 70%. From the perspective of the trend, the market share of artificial graphite is slowly increasing, increasing by 4.29 percentage points from 2016 to 2019H1.
Silicon anodes are expected to become the next generation of anode materials. The actual capacity of commercially available graphite anodes is close to the theoretical value of 372mAh / g, and there is limited space for improvement. It is urgent to find new alternative materials. Due to the large volume expansion (approximately 300%, graphite 10%) during charging, the simple substance Si cannot be used as a negative electrode alone due to its low first-time charging efficiency, high material processing cost, and poor conductivity. However, its ultra-high theoretical capacity (4200mAh / g) makes it an ideal additive. Adding a small amount of Si (5-10%) to the carbon negative electrode can significantly increase the capacity. The silicon carbon negative electrode is expected to become the next-generation negative electrode material, and companies are planning to deploy it. Panasonic's silicon carbon anode technology is leading in foreign countries, and mass production realized in 2013 (NCR18650). The Tesla Model 3 power battery uses silicon carbon anode.
Table 21: Investment progress of silicon carbon anodes
|CATL||13th Five-Year Plan period to achieve the goal of 350Wh / kg, using "high nickel positive electrode + silicon carbon negative electrode"|
|BYD||Achieving the 300Wh / kg target by 2020, using "high nickel positive electrode + silicon oxide / Nano silicon"|
|BTR||The current silicon carbon anode production capacity is 1,000 tons, and 300 tons will be shipped in 2018. Huizhou BTR silicon carbon anode production capacity is 3000T|
|Shanshan||With mass production technology, monthly shipments of tons|
|Putailai||A wholly-owned subsidiary, Jiangxi Zichen, and the Institute of Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences jointly develop a new type of composite silicon carbon anode|
|Guoxuan-Hightech||Small batch battery level test|
|Lishen||Developed a battery with an energy density of 260Wh / kg, using a silicon carbon anode|
3.3 Electrolyte: Core Technology in Additives
Driven by the new energy vehicle industry, the power battery electrolyte industry has maintained rapid growth. The electrolyte is known as the "blood" of the lithium-ion battery, and the conduction of the positive and negative electrodes of the battery has a significant impact on the operating temperature, cycle efficiency, safety performance, and rate performance of the lithium-ion battery. According to GGII, the output of domestic power battery electrolyte increased from 32,600 tons in 2015 to 85,900 tons in 2018, with a compound annual growth rate of 38.12%. In the first half of 2019, the output of domestic power battery electrolyte was 49,500 tons, YOY increase of 42.67%. The top 9 market shares were stable, from high to low: Guangzhou Tinci, Shenzhen CAPCHEM, Jiangsu Guotai Huarong, Dongguan Shanshan, and Zhuhai Smooth way, Shantou Jinguang, Xianghe Kunlun, Tianjin Jinniu, Shandong Hirong; Top 3 shares together accounted for 57%, more than half.
Additives are the core competitiveness of electrolyte companies. The electrolyte consists of three parts: solvent, lithium salt, and additives. Among them, the components of the solvent and lithium salt are stable, which are DMC and LiFP6 respectively. The variety of additives is the core technical competitiveness of the company. There are four main types of commonly used electrolyte additives: SEI film-forming additives, conductive additives, overcharge protection additives, and low-temperature modification additives, which correspondingly improve the cycle, rate, safety, and low-temperature performance of power batteries.
Table 24: Common lithium ion battery electrolyte additives
|SEI film-forming additives||Film-forming additives help to form a good SEI film, slow down the decomposition rate of the SEI film, and improve battery capacity and cycle performance.||Vulcanized organic solvents， mainly: PS, ES, DMS, DES|
|Conductive additives||By adding a conductive agent to the electrolyte, the conductivity of the electrolyte is improved, the rate performance of the power battery is improved, and the charging time is reduced.||Crown ethers, boron compounds, alkyl boranes， etc.|
|Overcharge protective additive||When the battery is overcharged, the positive electrode voltage is high, and the reactivity is increased, and it is easy to form oxidation side reactions with the electrolyte, which consumes solvents and lithium salts to reduce the battery capacity. The additive preferential electrolyte oxidizes with the positive electrode to form partial overcharge protection.||Sodium salt, dimethyl bromide|
|Low temperature modified additives||At low temperatures, the electrolyte is susceptible to solidification, conductivity decreases, and battery capacity and rate performance are greatly reduced. Adding a small amount of active agent can effectively improve the low temperature performance of the battery||PC|
3.4 Separator: Wet method is the mainstream, coating is the trend, and long-term innovation is in new substrates
In the power battery, the separator plays a role in isolating the electrons to prevent short circuits and conducting ions to form a loop, which directly affects the speed and safety of battery charging. There are two kinds of production methods for the separator of lithium ion battery: dry method and wet method. Due to the large differences in process (dry method belongs to physical method and wet method belongs to chemical method), the performance parameters of the two produced separators are different. In addition to the advantages of simple process, low cost, and higher melting point, the dry method is inferior to the wet method in terms of thickness, tensile strength, porosity, and safety.
The wet separator is the current mainstream, and its proportion is increasing year by year. According to GGII, in the first half of 2019, China's total separator production was 115,000 tons, of which wet and dry production were respectively 83,900 and 31,100 tons, YOY growth rate of 93.54% and -3.74%. From the perspective of the trend, the market share of wet separators has increased year by year, from 38.05% in 2015 to 72.96% in the first half of 2019. In the field of power batteries, wet separators have significant advantages over dry methods in terms of performance and safety, more able to adapt to the current trend of high energy density of power batteries.
Although wet separator has many advantages over dry separator, it also has disadvantages such as low melting temperature, poor heat resistance, and high shrinkage at high temperature. In order to improve the performance of wet separators, the current mainstream process is to coat a layer of ceramic material on the surface of the base film. The rigid support of ceramics is used to improve the thermal stability of the separator, improve the mechanical strength, and improve its puncture resistance.
Table 27: Separator Coating production technology
In addition to the coating technology, the dry and wet separators are made of PP and PE materials as the base film respectively. The temperature resistance of the materials is limited, and the suitable working temperature is below 150 ° C. PET (melting point 225 ° C) and PI (melting point) (> 500 ℃) material as base film, non-woven base film with better temperature resistance is worthy of attention.
4 Midstream packaging: square is the current mainstream, and the proportion of pack in the future may increase
Lithium-ion batteries can be classified into four types: cylinder, button, square, and soft pack. The button is basically only used in laboratory testing.
Table 28: Four type of Li battery
The three types of batteries have their own advantages and disadvantages. Among them, the soft pack battery has outstanding advantages in terms of energy density, safety, and rate performance, but has low production efficiency, poor product consistency, and high cost. The square battery has high group efficiency, good comprehensive performance, and process. Mature, but poor safety, low standardization, low energy density, and other prominent issues; although cylinder batteries have mature technology and high consistency, but the battery has large internal resistance, poor rate, poor cycle performance, small single cell capacity and low group efficiency.
Figure 29: Comparison of some indicators of different shape power battery cells
|Shell||Aluminum plastic film||Steel or aluminum case||Steel or aluminum case|
|Manufacturing process||Square lamination||Square winding||Cylindrical winding|
|Energy Density||High (light weight of aluminum plastic film, high utilization of lamination design space)||middle||middle|
|Group efficiency||Medium (aluminum plastic film is easy to pierce; the outer packaging adds a lot of metal protection)||high||Medium (small cell capacity, heavy packaging)|
|safety||High (if thermal runaway occurs, the soft-pack battery will explode and will not explode)||middle||middle|
|Degree of standardization||low||low||high|
|Internal resistance||Small (heat less when production at large magnifications)||middle||big|
|consistency||Low (easy to bulge in packaging)||low||high|
|Charge and discharge ratio||High (low internal resistance)||middle||low|
|Cycle life||high||middle||Poor (more internal resistance, more heat)|
|Representative models||Nissan Leaf||BMW i3||Tesla Model 3|
Square power batteries are the main force in the current market, accounting for over 80%. According to true lithium research statistics, the installed capacity of domestic power batteries in the first half of 2019 was 29.80GWh, of which the installed capacity of square, soft pack and cylinder power batteries were 24.56, 2.60, 2.65GWh, corresponding to 82.4%, 8.7%, 8.9%. From the perspective of the trend, the proportion of squares continues to increase, from 67.60% in 2016 to 82.4% in 2019H1. Due to the "explosion" by Walmart, the proportion of cylinders has shrunk sharply after 2017.
The proportion of square, soft pack and cylinder varies greatly among different models. According to GGII statistics, the installed capacity of three types of power batteries in passenger cars, bus, and special vehicles in 2018 accounted for 54.4%, 36.4%, and 9.2% of squares, 70.5%, 7.3%, and 22.2% of cylinders, 66.9%, 18.8%, and 14.3% of soft pack.
1) The percentage of square power batteries in special vehicles is relatively low, mainly due to the fact that customers of square battery faucets CATL are basically passenger car and bus companies;
2) cylindrical power batteries account for a relatively low percentage in bus, on the one hand It is because the battery capacity of the bus is 200-300KWh (passenger car 40-60KWh), and the energy of the cylindrical battery cell is small. If a cylinder battery is used, the number of battery cells is too large and difficult to manage. Domestic cylindrical power batteries mainly use ternary materials, which are expensive and uneconomical for passenger cars.
From the perspective of market concentration, the square is the highest, the cylinder is the second, and the soft pack is the lowest. According to GGII statistics in 2018, the domestic power battery market in various forms has the highest concentration of square power batteries, which are basically monopolized by CATL and BYD, accounting for 82.0% totally; cylinder power batteries are next, and BAK and Lishen have obvious leading advantages. Total market share is 46.5%; the soft-pack power battery market has the lowest concentration, and Farasis and Cenat have relatively high market shares. The overall market share of such enterprises is relatively similar.
Poor group efficiency, high cost, poor product consistency and other issues have led to the slow commercialization of soft pack batteries, but the high energy density, high safety, and high rate characteristics of soft pack batteries make itself have great potential for development. In the consumer sector, the penetration rate of soft pack batteries exceeds 70%. At present, the global soft pack battery giant LG Chemical and others have expanded their production capacity. The soft pack batteries developed have been applied to mainstream car companies such as Nissan, GM, Volkswagen, Renault, Hyundai, Daimler and so on. According to EV sales statistics, in 2018, the global new energy passenger car sales TOP10 models, the soft package battery accounted for 2 models; 7 member of TOP10 car companies have adopted the soft package power battery solution. According to GGII statistics, the installed capacity of soft pack power batteries on domestic new energy passenger cars reached 5.1GWh in 2018, accounting for 15.4%. With the release of new models of supporting soft pack batteries, the market share of soft packs is expected to increase in the future.
Table 33: Progress of soft pack battery layout of power battery companies
|Company||Soft pack battery energy density||Soft pack battery capacity||Matching models|
|LG Chemical||2019-2020 ternary soft pack battery 250Wh / kg, 2021 ternary soft pack battery 300Wh / kg||Mainly with soft packs, supplemented by columns; the total production capacity of the four major bases in Nanjing, Wucang, Holland, and Poland in 2020 is 110GWh||GM Bolt
Ford Focus Volkswagen Porsche Mission E
|AESC||2019 ternary soft pack 811 / graphite system battery energy density> 230Wh/kg||The current capacity is 6. 5GWh. In 2019, it is announced that it will invest 22 billion RMB in Wuxi to build an 811 soft pack power battery production line with an annual capacity of 20GWh.||Mazda RE Hybid Renault Kangoo Mitsubishi Dignity|
|SKI||2019 622 / graphite soft pack system battery 260Wh / kg, 2020 High nickel / Silicon carbon soft pack battery 260-300Wh / kg||South Korea ’s Seosan factory currently has a capacity of 4.7GWh, with a total capacity of 19.7GWh in 2020 and a total capacity of 50GWh in 2022.||Hyundai Blueon
Daimler Saab EV200
|Farasic||The ternary soft pack battery has a specific energy of 240wh / kg and a system energy density of 170wh / kg||The first phase of Zhenjiang Base plans to reach 10GWh of power battery production capacity and is expected to reach capacity in 2020; the second phase of 10GWh capacity is expected to reach capacity in 2022||BAIC EU Series Haval Euler iQ Chang’an BenbenEV|
5 Downstream Pack: Car companies cut into the Pack field, and third-party Pack plants are marginalized
5.1 Car companies cut into the field of Pack to become the biggest force
OEMs have entered the Pack field one after another. On the one hand, due to the customized nature of Pack, when the market competition is intensifying, OEMs cut into the Pack field, which can effectively improve battery safety and vehicle competitiveness. On the other hand, car companies have strong willingness reduce cost under the recession of subsidies, cutting into the Pack field can effectively reduce costs. Therefore, SAIC, BAIC and other OEMs have deployed Pack business. For example, SAIC and A123 system and CATL jointly established Pack companies in 2010 and 2017, each holding 51%.
Table 34: Layout of Power Battery Packs for Some Car Companies Over the Years
|Time||Car company||Battery enterprises||Cooperation model||Cooperative contents|
|2010. 04||SAIC||A123||Joint venture||Shanghai ATBS Power Battery System Co., Ltd. was jointly established, with SAIC holding 51%|
|2013. 06||Geely||Vremt||Self-built||Established Vremt Electric Vehicle Technology (Suzhou) Co., Ltd., Geely holds 100% shares|
|2013. 11||Toyota||STAES||Joint venture||Established SINOGY TOYOTA AUTOMOTIVE ENERGY SYSTEM CO.,LTD. Toyota holds 40%|
|2015. 04||Chery||SunWoda||Joint venture||Chery holds 49% of shares in Wuhu EMIS.|
|2016. 03||BAIC||Guoxuan-Hightech||Shareholding||Guoxuan subscribed for new shares of BAIC with RMB 307.2 million, holding a total of 3.75%|
|2016. 04||Geely||Self-built||Zhejiang Jinhua Power Battery Assembly Project started, with an annual planned capacity of 1.5GWh|
|2016. 12||Nio||Joint venture||Established Suzhou Zenio New Energy Technology Co., Ltd., Nio holds 35%|
Established Anhui Huating (Hefei) Hybrid Technology Co., Ltd, JAC holds 50% of shares
|2017. 04||Neusoft Reach||Self-built||Established Reach（Wuhan） New Energy Power System Co., Ltd.|
|2017. 06||SAIC||CATL||Joint venture||built SAIC Times Power Battery System Co., Ltd. SAIC holds 51%|
|2017. 07||Bordrin||Self-built||Huai’an Junsheng New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. was established with an annual output of 100,000 sets of packs|
|2017.09||BAIC||Farasis||Joint venture||Battery R & D and manufacturing base has an annual production capacity of 8GWh, and Farasis holds more than 80%|
|2017. 09||Dream one||Self-built||Changzhou Chezhiyi Power Technology Co., Ltd. officially put into production in 2017.09|
|2017. 10||BMW||Self-built||The first high-voltage battery plant was put into operation, with an annual output of 33,000 sets of air-pressure battery packs|
Pack plants with vehicle backgrounds account for more than 50% of the overall market. Power battery pack companies can be divided into three types: OEMs, battery manufacturers, and third-party pack manufacturers. According to GGII statistics, there were 130 PACK companies in the first half of 2019, and the total installed capacity of TOP20 companies was 25.48GWh, accounting for 84.9%. Among the TOP20 manufacturers, 11 are automakers, including BYD, ATBS, Changan Automobile, Haval Motor, SAIC Volkswagen, JAC, Vremt, BMW, Svolt, Toyota, and Weltmeister Automobile. It has about 54.4% of the TOP20 market share and 45.9% of the overall market. There are 7 battery cell factories, including CATL, Guoxuan High-tech, Greatpower, PFC New Energy, Canet New Energy, BAK Battery, and Gateway, accounting for approximately 33.9% of the TOP20 market share, accounting for 29.0% of the overall market; only third-party PACK factory Pride and Sunwoda, accounting for 11.7% of the TOP20 enterprise market share, accounting for 10.0% of the overall market.
5.2 Enterprise layout without modularization, fast charge, low temperature modification technology
A single battery cell has a low voltage and small capacity, which is far from meeting the requirements of high-voltage driving and long battery life of electric vehicles. Therefore, not a single battery cell used in an electric vehicle, but a module composed of a large number of battery cell, and then composed of several modules, and then from modules to Power Battery Pack.
Table 36: Installed process of power battery system
5.2.1 Module less technology significantly improves energy density and reduces battery costs
The module assembly, as an intermediate link between success and failure, has four main functions:
1) Improving assembly efficiency. The battery cell is designed into a fixed number of standardized sizes, which has high assembly efficiency and is more conducive to the structural design of the Pack;
2) Suppresses volume expansion. The pre-tightening force is applied in advance to the module structure to effectively control the squeeze effect on the surroundings caused by the volume expansion caused by Li + intercalation and gas-generating side reactions during the charge and discharge of the cell;
3) Increase security. Modules are equipped with sensors to monitor the status of the battery cells;
4) Reduce maintenance costs. The module is equipped with sensors, which can quickly locate the fault location. Only a part of the module is replaced without replacing the entire battery pack.
Moduleless technology can greatly improve integration efficiency and increase Pack energy density. Module assembly brings some problems:
1) increasing intermediate links, reducing production efficiency;
2) increasing the number of components, reducing energy density and increasing component costs. According to the "Action Plan for Promoting the Development of Automotive Power Battery Industry" issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in 2017, by 2020, the specific energy of power battery cells will reach 300Wh / kg, and the pack will reach 260Wh / kg. This requires the integration efficiency from batteries to packs to be above 85%, while the current integration efficiency of passenger car battery packs is generally around 60%, and the integration efficiency needs to be greatly improved to meet the requirements. In September 2019, the module-free CTP battery pack jointly produced by BAIC New Energy and CATL was released. Compared with traditional battery packs, the volume utilization rate of CTP battery packs increased by 15% -20%, the number of parts and components decreased by 40%, and production efficiency increased by 50%. In terms of core index energy density, traditional battery packs average 140-150Wh / kg, while CTP battery packs can reach more than 200Wh / kg, which has a significant improvement effect.
5.2.2 Fast charging technology solves charging pain points
Compared to a fuel car that refuels in 3 minutes and leaves the station in 5 minutes, an electric car typically charges to 80% in about 30 minutes, and it takes longer to wait for the queue. The poor charging experience greatly limits the promotion process of electric vehicles. In August 2019, a survey of the "2019 New Energy Vehicle Consumer Market Research Report" released by the China Automobile Dealers Association showed that:
1) when new energy vehicles are considering charging, fast charging has the highest attention, reaching 27.7%;
2) new energy vehicles Users have the lowest satisfaction with the charging experience, only 7.3 points, indicating that the charging experience has become their core pain point.Table
Fast charging technology is increasingly valued by the industry chain, and upstream and downstream companies with different backgrounds have been deployed. Automaker Tesla launched its third-generation supercharging pile in March this year, with a charging power of 250kW, which is 72.4% higher than the second-generation charging pile. CATL, a battery factory, demonstrated its super fast charging technology at the Frankfurt exhibition in September this year. In 15 minutes, the battery can be charged from 8% to 80%, which is half the time compared with conventional charging technology. State grid of the charging pile operator, for the first time in its March 2018 bidding document, had a demand for 475kW charging piles.
Table 39: Some enterprises’ Fast charging deployment
|Car company||Tesla||2019. 03, Tesla launches 250kW third generation charging pile, which is 72.4% more power than the second-generation 145Kw|
|BYD||2018.09, Qin Pro 500 launched, compared with 2017 Qin EV, charging power increased from 40kW to 60KW|
|BAIC New Energy||2019.01, BAIC New Energy EX3 verified car, tested 360kW super-fast charge in Beijing Changping|
|Battery factory||CATL||The super-fast charging technology demonstrated at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2019. 09 can charge the battery from 8% to 80% in 15 minutes, which shortens the charging time by half compared to the conventional technology; the maximum charging rate of the 43Ah power battery disclosed on the official website can reach 4C|
|Microvast||In 2018, Microvast Power launched a high-energy-density fast charge battery with an energy density of 220Wh / kg, which can achieve 15-20 minutes of fast charge|
|Charging pile operator||State Grid||2018.03. 27, the State Grid released the first batch of 2018 bidding documents for charging equipment, and for the first time there was a bidding demand for an output voltage of DC500-950V, a unit charging current of 500A, and a power of 475kW.|
|Star Charge||2019. 3.29, Star charge released a new generation of high-power electric vehicle charging system, which can provide the vehicle with a single shot of up to 500kW output power, allowing the vehicle to be fully charged in 10 minutes|
5.2.3 Low Temperature Modification Technology Improves Vehicle Winter Endurance
Low temperature not only reduces the reactivity of the material, but also causes the electrolyte to solidify, reduce the ion mobility, increase the polarization voltage, and so on. When applied to power batteries, low temperature will cause:
1) reduced discharge capacity (some Li + has no time to react);
2) reduced rate performance (the electrolyte is nearly solidified, and ion mobility decreased); 3) the discharge platform is reduced (battery resistance increases, extreme Increasing voltage). According to the winter endurance test results of some representative models, it can be found that at 0 ° C, the endurance of electric vehicles will drop by about 20-30%.
Table 40：Part of models: Winter endurance test results
|Model||Testing||Official endurance km||Actual endurance km||Endurance retention rate|
|Model X||-8°C-5°C||552||385||69. 75%|
|EU 400||-5°C-7°C||360||281||78. 06%|
|Denza 400||-2°C-6°C||451||366||81. 15%|
|Qin EV 300||-5°C-7°C||300||241||80. 33%|
Various companies are deploying low-temperature modification technology to improve the endurance of electric vehicles in winter. Electrolyte factory Guotai Huarong develops low-temperature electrolytes. The company uses this electrolyte battery product. The discharge capacity at -40 ° C and 0.2C is more than 90%, and the discharge capacity at 0.5C is more than 80%. The battery factory Guoxuan High-Tech, for low-temperature power batteries developed in high and cold areas, has a discharge capacity of -40 ° C which can reach 90% of normal temperature. Vehicle manufacturers Nio, BYD, etc. are equipped with intelligent temperature control systems in their latest models, start PTC heating battery packs at low temperatures.
Table 41: Low-temperature modification layout of some enterprises
|Background||Name||Low-temperature modified layout|
|Electrolyte||Guotai Huarong||Development of low temperature electrolyte, -40 ° C, 0.2C discharge capacity greater than 90%, 0.5C discharge capacity greater than 80%|
|Smoothway||Developed low temperature electrolyte, 0.2C discharge capacity 070% after -20 ° C for 4h|
|Xianghe Kunlun||Development of ultra-low temperature electrolyte, -40° C, 0.2C discharge capacity greater than 94%, 1C discharge capacity greater than 60%|
|battery||Guoxuan Hi-Tech||In 2016, the new low-temperature power battery newly developed by Guoxuan Hi-Tech has a discharge capacity at -40° C of 90% at room temperature. In Ankai Bus, a pure electric bus for commercial use in alpine regions|
|Eternal Lithium Energy||2018 annual report reveals development of 4. 4V low temperature lithium-ion battery|
|Nio||ES8 is equipped with PTC battery heating system|
|BYD||EV360 onboard third-generation battery intelligent temperature control management, start PTC plus oil lining in cold winter|
|Car company||Tesla||Model S, Model 3 are equipped with Air-weather battery heating patent, Model 3 newly launched "in-transit preheating technology", which can heat the battery while searching for a super charging pile, so that the battery reaches the optimal charging temperature before charging. This function Reduces charging time by 25%|
6 Challenges and Outlook
In August 2019, the China Automobile Dealers Association released the "2019 New Energy Vehicle Consumer Market Research Report", which shows that vehicle life, battery safety, and battery recycling are the three main factors that consumers give up buying new energy vehicles, accounting for 87% of the total. Can these industry pain points that consumers care about be solved in the future?
6.1 Solving mileage anxiety: All-solid-state, ternary lithium-rich batteries deserve attention
The "2019 New Energy Vehicle Consumer Market Research Report" shows that the problem of battery life is the main reason why consumers give up buying pure electric vehicles, accounting for up to 46%. Under the constraints of vehicle space and quality, increasing the battery energy density is the best way to increase the battery life of an electric vehicle.
To this end, the government has issued a number of documents to propose a plan for the energy density of power batteries. In February 2017, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and other ministries and commissions issued the Action Plan for Promoting the Development of the Automotive Power Battery Industry, which states that by 2020 and 2025, the specific energy of power battery cells will reach 300 and 500 Wh / kg respectively; in January 2018, The Construction Strategy Advisory Committee issued the "Made in China 2025 Technology Roadmap for Key Areas (2017 Edition)", indicating that by 2020, 2025, and 2030, the individual energy densities will reach 350, 400, and 500 Wh / kg respectively. In January 2019, Minister Miao Wei of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology disclosed at the "China Electric Vehicle Hundred People's Association Forum (2019)" that by the end of 2018, the energy density of power battery cells in mass production in China had reached 265 Wh / kg, and basically reached the 2020 target.
At present, the ternary high-nickel system can achieve the energy density target of power battery cells in 2020, but the target of 2025 and 2030 is subject to new technological breakthroughs. All-solid-state, ternary lithium-rich is worthy of attention. There are five technologies that can theoretically achieve higher capacity goals: all-solid-state batteries, ternary lithium-rich anodes, lithium-air batteries, lithium-sulfur batteries, and hydrogen fuel cells, of which the first two have a certain industrial basis, the latter three there is still a long way to go.
There are two major advantages of all-solid-state batteries:
1) higher safety, using all-solid-state electrolytes, non-flammable and less likely to cause side reactions;
2) higher energy density, negative electrode can use metal lithium, higher capacity and higher voltage .
Ternary lithium-rich anodes also have two major advantages:
1) higher battery capacity, theoretical capacity is 20-35% higher than NCM811;
2) higher voltage platform, integrated discharge platform is between 4.0-4.2V, 3.6 than the current Ternary 3.6 V is higher.
6.2 Improving Battery Safety: Strengthening Supervision and Early Warning
The "2019 New Energy Vehicle Consumer Market Research Report" shows that battery safety is the second most important factor for consumers to abandon pure electric vehicles, accounting for up to 26%. In August 2019, the National Big Data Alliance of New Energy Vehicles released the "Big Data Safety Supervision Results Report of the New Energy Vehicle National Regulatory Platform" and disclosed that since May 2019, before the report was released, a total of 79 new energy vehicle national regulatory platforms were found. Safety accident involving 96 vehicles. From the state of the vehicle, 41% of the vehicles that have been identified are in the driving state, 40% are in the stationary state, and 19% are in the charging state. From the perspective of battery materials, 86% use ternary ( ternary material market share is high), 7% use lithium iron phosphate, 7% battery type is uncertain; from the point of view, of the vehicles that have been identified for the cause of the fire, 58% of the vehicles were caused by battery problems, and 19% of the vehicles were on fire caused by collision problems, the remaining part of the vehicle fire caused by flooding, component failure, use problems and other reasons.
We believe that the safety issues of new energy vehicles are prominent for five main reasons:
1) Lack of supervision, some accidents can be avoided in advance. According to the “Report on the results of big data security supervision of the new energy vehicle national regulatory platform”, among 79 new energy vehicle safety accidents discovered in May-August 2019, there were 47 accidental vehicles connected to the regulatory platform, and another 28 accidents warned by the regulatory platform within 10 days before occurred . Platform warning reminder.
2) The technology is immature and uneven. In June 2019, a new car building force announced the recall of electric vehicles equipped with power battery packs produced between April and October 2018. The scale reached thousands, mainly due to the improper voltage sampling wiring harness of the installed battery modules.
3) The characteristics of the current power battery determine that the ignition point of gasoline is 427 ° C, and the thermal runaway temperature of the power battery is about 200-220 ° C. In June 2019, Professor Ouyang Minggao disclosed at the "2019 China (Qinghai) Lithium Industry and Power Battery International Summit Forum" that his test battery thermal runaway start temperature T1 is about 90 ° C, thermal runaway trigger temperature T2 is about 215 ° C, The maximum temperature T3 of thermal runaway can reach 900 ℃.
4) Excessive pursuit of large capacity and fast charging. High nickel reduces the thermal stability of the material, and fast charging increases the heat output per unit time, which will increase the risk of thermal runaway of the battery.
5) The media pay more attention to new things, deepening consumer misconceptions that electric vehicles are more prone to safety accidents. Take Tesla as an example. According to the American Fire Protection Association, the annual average of 287,000 car fires in the United States from 2003 to 2007. Based on the 237 million U.S. car ownership in 2003, the probability of fire of fuel vehicles is 1.2 ‰. Tesla has been on the market until now, there were about 50 fire accidents. By the end of 2018, the cumulative sales volume was about 500,000, and the fire probability was 0.1 ‰. The US NFPA and NHTSA have stated repeatedly that the probability of spontaneous combustion of fuel vehicles is five times that of electric vehicles.
In this regard, we suggest:
1) The government side: use big data platforms to establish precaution mechanisms, and use catalog management to strengthen product quality supervision;
2)The enterprise side: put security first, and strengthen technology research and development and consistency testing;
3) The media side: objective reports to correctly guide consumers' understanding of new energy vehicles;
4) The user side: car owners should increase safety awareness, reduce overcharging and overcharging of batteries, pay attention to abnormal charging, early warning reminders, and report in a timely manner.
6.3 Improve battery recycling rate: establish a battery recycling system, focusing on reward and punishment mechanisms
According to the China Automotive Technology and Research Center's forecast, by 2020, China's cumulative decommissioning of power batteries will reach 200,000 tons (about 25GWh), and by 2025, the cumulative decommissioning volume will be about 780,000 tons (about 116GWh), of which about 550,000 tons can be used in stages, accounting for 70% of total decommissioning.
The power battery is divided into three scenarios according to the amount of power:
1) service status, short use time, actual capacity attenuation is light, reaching 80% or more of the rated capacity;
2) stepwise use, long use time, actual capacity attenuation is serious, 20-80% of rated capacity, it still has use value for energy storage and low-speed electric vehicles;
3) Recycling, the actual capacity is less than 20% of rated capacity, low use value, large potential safety hazards, and can only be broken for recycling precious metals.
Table 45: Power battery recycling line
The current battery recovery rate is less than 1/4. The huge quantity makes the recycling of retired power batteries a problem that cannot be ignored. If it is not properly handled, it will not only bring huge environmental pollution and hidden safety hazards, but also cause a lot of waste of precious metal resources such as nickel, cobalt, and lithium. In this regard, the government attaches great importance on it. In 2018 only, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued four power battery recycling related policies, such as the release of the first batch of "power battery recycling whitelists". However, the proportion of lithium ion power battery recycling in China is still low. According to GGII statistics, in 2018, China realized 13,500 tons of used power batteries, and the actual recycling ratio was only 22.9%.
Table 46: Theorical scrappage amount(1000t) VS Actual recycling amount(10000t)
We think there are five main reasons for the low recovery rate of domestic power batteries:
1) Insufficient policy constraints and no incentives or penalties. The problem of battery recycling exists in lead-acid batteries times. Due to insufficient policy penalties, the actual recycling rate is not high. However, the necessity of lithium-ion power battery recycling is much greater, mainly because:
1) lithium-ion battery pollution is more serious, lead-acid batteries are mainly sulfuric acid and lead, but HF acid and organic gas pollution in lithium-ion power batteries are more serious;
2) Lithium-ion batteries have higher recycling value, China has less nickel and cobalt, and lithium, nickel, cobalt and other metals are expensive, with greater recycling value;
3) Lithium-ion batteries have greater potential safety problem, higher lithium-ion power battery capacity will induce to explosion safety hazards, but lead-acid batteries will not.
2) The recovery system is chaotic, and the responsibilities and capabilities are disconnected. The state requires new energy vehicle companies to assume the main responsibility for power battery recycling, but the vehicle companies do not have the technical capability to recycle. In 2018, the first batch of five power battery recycling whitelists released did not include a single vehicle company.
3) The recycling technology is not up to standard, the technology and channels are disconnected. At present, a large number of used batteries enter small workshops. Because small workshops do not have environmental protection supervision, are semi-manually disassembled, low fixed expenses, and higher profits, thus the waste batteries could sold by a higher price with quite good quantity; however, for large companies who own technology in power battery use in stages and recycling for reuse, there is no advantage in getting goods through channels.
4) The market space for step utilization has not been opened. The use of power batteries is mainly used in the fields of energy storage and low-speed electric vehicles. The batteries in these two fields have been occupied by lead-acid batteries for a long time and are still in the replacement period.
5) The recycling profit is low without strong willingness to recycle. There are many types of retired power batteries that cannot be used in assembly lines; the volume is very unstable, and the equipment operating rate cannot be guaranteed; in the early days, most of them were LFP batteries, which had low recycling value; coupled with the pressure of environmental protection and the price reduction of precious metals such as Li, the profit margins of recycling companies were very low. Recycling leader GEM's 2018 annual report revealed that the company's gross profit margin for battery materials in 2018 was only 22.01%.
In this regard, we suggest:
1) The government side: introduce reward and punishment mechanism, strengthen industry supervision;
2) battery cell factory: unified power battery model standards, complete the battery cell traceability mark;
3) OEMs: adopt charging-replacement mode, and encourage to replace of old ones with new ones to improve the recycling system;
4) Recycling plants: increase the investment in recycling technologies, deepen cooperation in the upstream and downstream industrial chains, and improve recycling efficiency.