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There are still difficulties in the lithium battery decisive market. Improving "energy density" is the key



In recent years, with the rapid development of new energy vehicles in my country, the demand for power batteries has soared, directly driving the rapid growth of related industries represented by lithium batteries. However, with the reform of industrial policies and changes in market patterns, problems such as overcapacity and short battery life have become bottlenecks restricting industrial development.

On June 21, the "Lithium Industry International Summit Forum" co-sponsored by the People's Government of Qinghai Province, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the China Electric Vehicle Hundred People's Association was held in Xining City, Qinghai Province. The heads and experts of relevant government departments Scholars and business representatives discussed how to create a good development ecology for the lithium battery industry.

Industrial development is improving in an all-round way

Since the "Twelfth Five-Year Plan", China's new energy vehicle market has grown rapidly. From 2011 to 2016, the sales of new energy vehicles increased from less than 5,000 to 510,000, and the number of vehicles increased from 10,000 to 1 million. In 2016, the sales of new energy vehicles exceeded 1.8% of the total vehicle sales. Driven by the rapid development of the new energy vehicle industry, the demand for power batteries continues to increase. According to the relevant subject report of the China Electric Vehicle Hundred People Association, the total domestic demand for lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles in the first quarter of this year was 1.27GWh, and the cumulative shipment of power batteries was 4018.273MWh. As the production and sales of new energy vehicles continue to grow, the market demand for lithium batteries will continue to expand.

Under the influence of factors such as the gradual deepening of technology research and development and the increasingly fierce market competition, the types of power batteries have also been gradually established. Affected by the different production process requirements of power batteries, it is expected that in 2017, soft-pack batteries will continue to secure the No. 1 position in terms of output and growth rate. At the same time, as power battery factories, especially leading companies such as Guoxuan and BYD, expand their production lines of square power cells on a large scale, in 2018, square cells will replace pouch cells and become the most widely used battery type in the market. Judging from the situation of the power batteries equipped, affected by the policy, the existing battery technology route for new energy buses has basically been determined. Lithium iron phosphate batteries occupy an absolute advantage in the field of pure electric buses, and ternary batteries dominate the field of pure electric passenger vehicles. status.

At the same time, with the deepening of battery technology research and development, the specific energy of lithium-ion power battery systems is increasing year by year, and the cost is decreasing year by year. Ouyang Minggao, executive vice chairman of the China Electric Vehicle 100, said: "In the past five years, the specific energy of power batteries has nearly doubled, and the cost has also dropped. It is expected that the cost will drop to 1 yuan/watt-hour by 2020."

Ouyang Minggao also said that in recent years, power batteries have also made significant progress in terms of safety. "The battery that is most prone to accidents is not the thermal runaway of a single cell, but the expansion of the entire system after the thermal runaway of a single cell, which will cause a major accident. In this regard, our domestic work is leading the world. Now The thermal runaway characteristics of the battery can be predicted at the design stage." Ouyang Minggao said.

There are still difficulties in winning the market

In 2016, the central government's subsidy policy for new energy vehicles began to tighten, and the industrial policy shifted from the generalized system of preferences to the promotion of technological innovation. Affected by this, the production and sales of new energy vehicles fluctuated for a while, and the market effect of the rapid growth of lithium batteries in the early stage also began to appear. Under the influence of multiple factors, lithium batteries have overcapacity, and some small and medium-sized enterprises have stopped or semi-stopped production. At the same time, the concentration of the lithium battery market has further increased. In 2015, the top five companies accounted for 56.3% of the market. In 2016, this proportion increased to 64.5%. Wu Zhixin, deputy director of the China Automotive Technology and Research Center, believes that the current overcapacity is a structural overcapacity and a periodic overcapacity. "Really good battery products are still in short supply. For the fast-growing new energy vehicle industry, there will still be strong demand for capacity in the future." possible".

Although the production and sales of new energy vehicles have increased year after year, new energy vehicles need to further improve their cost performance if they want to compete with fuel vehicles in the market competition. The so-called cost performance is the mileage cost ratio. This improvement requires the improvement of battery performance, the reduction of vehicle power consumption and the improvement of efficiency, the convenience of charging facilities and safety management, the most important of which is to improve battery performance. According to calculations, if the specific energy of the battery can be increased to 300 Wh/kg, it can meet the needs of various cars. Many industry experts said that reducing the cost of batteries requires the efforts of the entire industry chain and breakthroughs in key links. Taking raw materials as an example, the cost of lithium carbonate has been as low as 13,000 yuan/ton, but the market price exceeds 150,000 yuan/ton. In addition, issues such as the improvement of yield and consistency of manufacturing, material recovery and recycling are all important factors affecting the cost of batteries.

Ouyang Ming said that there are still challenges in the safety control of new energy vehicles. "I suggest evaluating the safety technical threshold of high-power DC fast charging. When charging at 350 kilowatts, the voltage of electric vehicles will increase to 1000 volts, and the charging current will be 350. An, this will bring major technical challenges to vehicle electrical safety, battery safety, charging safety, and grid safety, so we must fully consider China's national conditions and formulate scientific and reasonable charging technology standards."

There is still room for industry improvement

Qu Guochun, deputy director of the Industrial Equipment Department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said that my country's power battery industry still has a lot of deficiencies in basic key materials, system integration technology, manufacturing equipment and technology. In view of the current problems in the power battery industry, Qu Guochun said that we should start from two aspects. The first is to increase the research on key technologies of power batteries, build a power battery sharing platform for collaborative research and open sharing, support the introduction of high-quality resources, and accelerate the construction of power battery innovation centers. The second is to promote the coordinated development of the entire industry chain. Promote the coordinated development of power batteries and material components, equipment, and complete vehicles, and promote the construction of an independent, controllable, coordinated, and efficient industrial chain system that adapts to development goals; encourage strong alliances between power battery manufacturers and equipment manufacturers, and strengthen key Coordinated research on link manufacturing equipment; promote the industrialization of intelligent manufacturing complete sets of equipment, and effectively meet the needs of power battery production and manufacturing.

Fang Haifeng, deputy director of the New Energy Vehicle and Fiscal Policy Research Office of the China Automotive Technology Research Center, said that at this stage, the entire power battery industry relies too much on policies, and the standard system needs to be improved. Standardization of power battery products and the promotion of industrial sustainability Some aspects of policy regulation and standard setting for development still need further research.

As an enterprise representative, Li Ping, co-founder and vice chairman of Ningde Times New Energy Technology Co., Ltd., believes that the predictability of policies is very important for the development of enterprises. Research ahead".

Wu Zhixin also suggested that the government departments start the research on measures under market conditions in a timely manner. "After the government's financial subsidies are completely withdrawn in the future and enter the stage of complete market competition, the government should consider what kind of non-financial and tax direct subsidy policy incentives to build. At the same time, the government should Shift the focus of work from pre-entry access to in-process and post-event supervision to create a fairer competitive environment and lay a good foundation for the healthy development of the industry in the future.”

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