China is gradually dominated the global lithium battery market

May 15, 2019   Pageview:56

China's lithium battery industry is catching up at an alarming rate: in less than three years, China may have produced a lithium battery giant that surpasses Tesla's super battery factory.


According to the energy think tank, if China's major battery manufacturers can complete the scheduled production target, by 2020 China's lithium battery capacity will reach GWh per 121 years. In contrast, Tesla is located in the super battery factory in Nevada, USA. After reaching the maximum capacity in 2018, the annual production of energy storage batteries is 35 GWh. 1 GWh of electricity can be used to drive 100,000 electric cars for 100 kilometers.


Now lithium batteries are like the solar panel industry ten years ago. When Chinese companies flooded into and dominated the photovoltaic panel industry chain, solar panel costs fell by 70%.


Goldman Sachs released a research report that the automotive sector is accelerating its transition to electric power, and at least the next decade will be a period of the rapid development of lithium battery technology. By 2025, the global lithium battery market will reach 100 million US dollars in 400 years, and Chinese producers may "rule" the industry.


Behind the rapid rise of China's lithium battery industry is China's rapidly emerging supply chain of new energy auto industry, as well as the government's large-scale stimulus support policy.


It is estimated that by 2020, the number of electric vehicles on the road will reach 500 to 10,000, which is five times the current number. Since 2012, the Chinese government has subsidized the electric vehicle industry to reach billions of dollars, making the car and battery manufacturer BYD the world's largest electric bus, car manufacturer, with a market value of about 187 billion US dollars.


In 2016, when the capacity of Ningde Times New Energy (CATL) in Fujian reached 7.6 GW, Huang Shilin, president of the company, said in an interview that the company's total lithium production capacity target is expected to reach 50gwh by 2020. CATL is the only one in China. The company provides battery systems companies, whose customers include BMW and Volkswagen.


The Chinese government's new energy policy is also encouraging the lithium battery industry to move toward intensification. The new regulations for new energy vehicle subsidies issued last year require that subsidized car battery manufacturers must have at least 8 GWh of annual production in order to enjoy subsidies. This rule means that only the battery giants such as BYD or CATL are eligible for subsidies.


Since Sony opened the commercialization of lithium batteries in 1981, the lithium battery industry chain has been in the hands of Japanese and Korean producers such as Panasonic, LG, and Samsung. Tesla's super battery factory is a joint venture with Matsushita of Japan.


However, after entering the second decade of the 21st century, China's lithium battery industry has quickly caught up. In 2013, it has replaced South Korea and became the world's largest supplier of lithium batteries. In 2016, China sold more than 500,000 pure electric vehicles. Plug-in hybrid cars increased by 50% year-on-year.


According to research firm Bernstein, although Panasonic is still the world's largest supplier of electric vehicle batteries, China's BYD, CATL has followed.


Duncan Goodwin, head of global resource strategy at Investor Management, Bahrain Bank, said:“The Japanese invented the lithium battery, and the Koreans expanded its use, but eventually the Chinese will rule this market. We will witness the domestic demand in China, which will lead to leapfrog development in the lithium battery industry.”


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