Battery supply, battery business

As an indispensable part of new energy vehicles, the importance of power batteries goes without saying. Once the battery supply presents a problem, the consumption of the entire electric vehicle industry will be affected.

However, the current "battery shortage" problem seems to be getting more and more serious...

Faster market demand leads to battery shortage

The reason why new energy vehicle power batteries are in short supply is largely due to the rapid increase in the production and sales of new energy vehicles in recent years, but the corresponding products have not been supplied in time.

According to data from the China Automobile Association, in June this year, the production and sales of my country's new energy vehicle sector were 248,000 and 256,000, an increase of 1.3 and 1.4 times year-on-year; the production and sales of the first half of the year were 1.215 million and 1.206 million, respectively. Both have doubled, and the current cumulative sales of new energy vehicles have been the same as that of the entire year of 2019.

It is predicted that China's new energy vehicle sales this year is expected to exceed 2 million, which means that the growth rate of new energy vehicle sales will reach 46.3%.

The popularity of new energy vehicles has driven up the demand for power batteries. The data shows that from January to June, my country's power battery production totaled 54.75GWh, a cumulative year-on-year increase of 217.5%; during the same period, my country's cumulative power battery installed capacity was 52.5GWh, a cumulative year-on-year increase of 200.3%.

In the secondary market, the concept of lithium batteries has strengthened from time to time since May, and the overall concept index has risen by nearly 50%. On July 12, the sector once again set off a daily limit wave. The share prices of the power battery leader Ningde, the lithium mine leader Ganfeng Lithium, and the battery barrier leader Xingyuan Material set record highs.

However, with regard to new energy vehicles, the "growth" of power batteries is still a bit slower. According to SNE Research, a global emerging energy market research organization, by 2023, the global demand for power batteries for electric vehicles will reach 406 gigawatt-hours (GWH), while the supply of power batteries is estimated to be 335 gigawatt-hours (GWH). 18%. By 2025, this gap will expand to about 40%.

Anxiety from auto companies and suppliers

Facing the menacing "battery shortage", car companies and suppliers began to panic.

In February last year, due to the lack of power battery supply, Audi officially confessed to the short-term suspension of e-tron production. During the same period, the Jaguar I-PACE, which was also popular in the European market, was also suspended due to LG Chem’s power battery supply problems.

In January of this year, Tesla founder Musk mentioned in the fourth quarter 2020 earnings conference call that Tesla’s first pure electric truck Semi will be entrusted within this year, and the only factor limiting its consumption ability is battery supply. . At that time, Musk said that even if battery suppliers consume at the fastest speed, it is estimated that by 2022 and beyond, battery supply will still face serious shortages.

Musk said that the supply of power batteries fundamentally limits the current development of the new energy automobile industry. Tesla has expressed very clearly to the major battery suppliers, whether it is in the Ningde era, Panasonic or LG Chem, we will do our best to purchase the batteries they consume.

At the beginning of March of this year, at the fourth quarter 2020 earnings conference call held by Weilai, Li Bin, the founder of Weilai Automobile, said frankly: "Compared with chips, the battery supply in the second quarter of this year will be the biggest bottleneck." His budget at the time was, overall In the second quarter of this year, both batteries and chips will limit the number of products that NIO entrusts each month, affecting about 7,500 vehicles.

According to media reports not long ago, Xiaopeng Motors CEO He Xiaopeng stayed for a week during the Ningde period in order to get the battery smoothly from the Ningde period. On July 13, He Xiaopeng responded that this report was untrue, and he also saw it in the news.

Ningde's chairman Zeng Yuqun said at a recent shareholder meeting that he could hardly bear the recent urging of customers. In this regard, Ningde said that the company's current orders are in a state of saturation.

At the same time, a number of domestic head battery suppliers also revealed in the announcement that the company was in a state of full production. On May 18, Azure Lithium Core mentioned in the announcement that the current lithium battery business is still in full production, and it is estimated that the capacity bottleneck will continue to exist for a long time. When interacting with investors, Zhanlan Lithium Cell stated that the company's current annual production capacity of lithium batteries is nearly 400 million, and the production line is at full capacity; on May 24, Huizhou Yiwei Lithium Energy Co., Ltd. is also making an announcement. It is disclosed that the company's existing premises and production lines have been operating at full capacity, but the supply will still fall short of demand in the past year.

Power battery companies respond to production expansion

In order to alleviate the "battery shortage", numerous power battery companies have accelerated the pace of expansion.

On the evening of June 10, Yiwei Lithium Energy issued a number of expansion announcements related to power batteries, including an annual production capacity of 82.5GWh lithium-ion power storage battery capacity project, an annual production capacity of 10GWh energy storage battery project and high-performance lithium-ion Cylindrical battery industrialization project.

On the evening of June 28, CATL issued an announcement stating that the company and Tesla signed an agreement on June 25, 2021. The agreement agreed that the company will supply lithium-ion power battery products to Tesla from January 2022 to December 2025.

According to statistics, in the first half of this year, many domestic power battery companies announced the expansion and optimization of production capacity. There were 57 related investment projects with a total investment plan of over 350 billion yuan.

Internationally, the three Korean battery giants LG New Energy, Samsung SDI, and SK Innovation are all actively expanding battery production capacity in order to face the increasingly fierce market competition and gain more market share. Among them, LG Chem and its wholly-owned battery subsidiary LG New Energy Solutions will invest a total of approximately US$13.17 billion in the development of advanced battery materials in the next ten years.

Some insiders pointed out that from the current point of view, the battery shortage situation is likely to be dealt with in about a year. Generally speaking, whether it is a car company or a battery supplier, it is necessary to take a long-term view, make a plan for the entire product supply chain, and actively seek out cooperative partners to ensure the health and orderly development of the entire new energy automobile industry!