Battery Industry Competition Will Be Fierce

Battery Industry Competition Will Be Fierce

Date:Feb 19, 2019

Recently, IHS released the 2018 global power battery market research report that the top ten companies in global production and sales were taken over by China, Japan and Korea, except for Matsushita Electric from Japan, Samsung SDI from South Korea, LG Chemical, and SKI. The remaining six are all companies from China.

Under such a good momentum, we still have to be soberly aware that after the subsidies are withdrawn in 2020, Japanese and Korean battery companies with traditional advantages will surely share a piece of the Chinese market and even share most of the defects.

The pace of Japanese and Korean companies re-entering the Chinese market is accelerating, Panasonic will launch China's capacity expansion plan, and SKI announced that it will invest 86.4 billion won to restart its new joint venture plan in China.

LG Chem's power battery project in Nanjing began mass production in October 2019. Samsung restarted the second phase of the new plant of the Samsung Ring New Xi'an Power Battery and announced an additional investment of US$2.4 billion for the Tianjin plant.

There is no doubt that the competition in the power battery industry will become even more fierce. Although the head of the local power battery has already had the strength to compete with Japanese and Korean giant companies. However, in the face of the future Sino-Japanese and Korean battery battles, it is likely that the injured are small and medium-sized battery companies in China.

In response to the current situation of China's power battery industry, Xin Guobin, deputy director of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said that although China's power battery industry has made great progress, but the comprehensive domestic and international situation, the development still faces many challenges. The short board of China's power battery is reflected in five points. First, the product safety issue cannot be ignored. Second, the key technology research and development still needs to be strengthened. Third, the structural excess of capacity still exists. Fourth, the shortage of upstream materials forms a constraint. The fifth is recycling management. The system needs to be improved.

Battery technology is currently in a period of rapid development, and the industrial structure has not yet finally formed. The leading edge of shipments at a certain stage will not be transformed into the next-generation battery technology advantage. European and American auto companies also hope to be on the next generation of solid-state battery technology. Achieve overtaking of the battery industry in China, Japan and Korea.

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Global car giants are concentrated in Europe and the United States. In order to ensure a favorable position in the international auto market competition, some European and American companies have begun to lay out solid-state batteries, hoping to dominate the next round of competition by grasping the next generation of power battery technology. The United States has set a target of 500 watt-hours/kg of power battery cells. Europe plans to produce 30% of the world's power batteries in 2030.

Although it is currently limited by the stability of the solid-solid interface and the chargeability of the metal lithium anode, the true all-solid lithium metal battery technology is far from mature, but from the electrolyte point of view, it will be from liquid, semi-solid, solid-liquid mixture to solid state. And finally to the all solid state, will become the technical development route of solid-state batteries in the future.

Since 1990, the number of patents that have been published in the field of solid-state batteries has reached 1,926, of which 871 have been patented in the field of all-solid-state batteries, accounting for about 45%. As the world's largest car company, Toyota has 252 solid-state battery patents, far more than other car companies and battery companies.

Three battery manufacturers in Korea, LG Chem, Samsung SDI and SKI, have signed a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of a next-generation battery fund. The three companies will jointly invest in R&D projects and plan to develop in the fields of solid-state batteries, lithium-metal batteries and lithium-sulfur batteries.

At present, China's battery industry has benefited from the first step and has obtained temporary advantages. However, the international competition pressure facing the future is huge. It is necessary to fully pursue the cutting-edge technology represented by solid-state batteries and the upstream and downstream supporting industrialization.

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