China’s Output of Power Li-ion Battery was Valued at USD1.83 Billion (RMB11.2 Billion) in H1 2015

Date: 2015-09-08

“BYD adopts ternary Li-ion battery for first time

On 14 Aug., 2015, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MIIT) released the 72th Energy-saving and Alternative Energy Vehicle Catalogue, of which a plug-in hybrid electric sport utility vehicle (PHE-SUV) “Song”  from BYD Company Limited (BYD) was listed.

According to the technical data sheet in the announcement, the vehicle is equipped with lithium nickel cobalt manganate (NCM) battery, which is produced by Huizhou BYD Battery Co., Ltd. This indicated that BYD had put its ternary Li-ion battery into application, after the independent development for a long time.

As an enterprise in the lead of China’s alternative energy vehicle industry, BYD advocated lithium ferric phosphate (LFP) power battery previously:
– The electric bus and electric car “Qin” launched onto the market adopted this technology route 
– The improvement in energy density was also centred in this technology route. For example, the new e6 launched in May 2015 used the lithium ferric manganese phosphate (LFMP) technology route, which was improved from the LFP technology route. According to BYD, the LFMP battery used in the new e6 is 50 kg lighter than the LFP battery used in the former e6. It increases 19 kWh of battery capacity and raises the driving range from 300 km to 400 km

Regarding the transfer from LFP power battery to ternary Li-ion battery, Liu Weiping, CTO of BYD stated that BYD began the fundamental R&D on ternary Li-ion battery long ago. In the light of the hidden risks in safety and stability, BYD had no plan to launch the ternary Li-ion battery onto the market rapidly. The PHE-SUV “Song” requires small battery capacity. In addition, the NCM battery developed by BYD has been proven to be mature after various tests. Therefore, the NCM battery is officially installed in this new type of vehicle. In the future, BYD will insist on developing both ternary Li-ion battery and LFP battery. Whether to expand the production capacity of ternary Li-ion battery will depend on the market demand.

CCM believes that, although LFP battery has the advantage in safety, stability and price, its insufficient energy density restricts the development. Previously, only a few foreign manufacturers, such as Tesla Motors Inc., adopted ternary Li-ion battery in the battery electric vehicle. Now many domestic vehicle manufacturers are inclined to it. For instance, Beijing Electric Vehicle Company (BJEV) and Chang’an Automobile Co., Ltd. have begun to adopt ternary Li-ion battery.

According to the Shenzhen Gaogong Industry Research Institute (GGII), China’s output of power Li-ion battery was valued at USD1.83 billion (RMB11.2 billion) in H1 2015. Of this, the ternary Li-ion battery accounted for 21% (vs. 10% in 2014).
In addition, the Implementation Proposal for the Alternative Energy Vehicle Project in the State Special R&D Plan released by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China in February 2015 clearly requires that the energy density of Li-ion battery used in car should reach 200 Wh/kg by 2015. Theoretically, the energy density of LFP battery is about 160 Wh/kg, far away from the requirement.

Pressured by the development space, competitors and policies, it is not surprised that BYD announced to barge into the ternary Li-ion battery at this time. The diversified development will support the company to adjust its strategy timely according to the market conditions.

It is expected that ternary Li-ion battery will receive preference in the future, as more and more domestic vehicle manufacturers use it, including BYD, BJEV, China Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co., Ltd. and Chery Automobile Co., Ltd. Particularly in China’s electric passenger vehicle field, the traditional status where LFP battery plays a vital role, ternary Li-ion battery as a subsidiary part will be gradually changed.”

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