The energy density of power batteries is getting higher and higher. Is this really a good thing?
- ( Kingkong Battery )
Tramway News: Entering 2017, the life of power battery manufacturers is not easy-the price of upstream raw materials has risen, and the subsidy of downstream new energy vehicles has fallen, urging batteries to reduce costs. However, even so, for the power battery industry, a round of new technologies And the expansion of production capacity is stepping up.
In the process of advancing the research and development of high-energy-density batteries, various companies are scrambling to get ahead. Battery companies have increased R&D investment, and news of improving the energy density of cells and battery systems by improving the raw material systems such as positive and negative materials, separators, electrolytes, and optimizing the PACK structure have been one after another. Ningde Times, Guoxuan High-Tech, Tianjin Lishen, BYD, AVIC Lithium Battery, BAK Battery, Thornton New Energy and other leap forwards in battery energy density have frequently attracted the attention of the industry.
The increase in energy density is, on the one hand, the inevitable result of the pursuit of longer cruising range in the development of new energy vehicles; on the other hand, it is closely related to the amount of government subsidies. Entering 2017, the new energy vehicle subsidy policy has been adjusted, including the battery energy density as an important reference indicator for subsidies. On March 1 this year, four central ministries and commissions issued the "Action Plan to Promote the Development of the Automotive Power Battery Industry", clearly stating that the improvement of battery specific energy will be one of the key development goals in the future. The energy reaches 260Wh/kg, the cost is reduced to less than 1 yuan/Wh, and the specific energy of the power battery unit reaches 500Wh/kg in 2025.
In addition, in order to improve China's power battery research and development level, form a joint research and development force between enterprises, and jointly promote technological progress in the industry, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology also took the lead in establishing the National Power Battery Innovation Center last year. The goal is that my country's power batteries will catch up with Japan and South Korea by 2020. In the view of Miao Wei, Minister of Industry and Information Technology, “To build a manufacturing innovation center is to make up for the broken links in the innovation chain, especially to solve the so-called “valley of death” from laboratory products to industrialization, and to disperse innovative resources. Unite with the power of innovation." - ( Kingkong Battery )
Under a series of incentive measures, the energy density of power batteries has repeatedly broken records. A few days ago, Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang stated at the 8th Clean Energy Ministerial Conference and the 2nd Ministerial Conference on Innovation Mission that since 2010, when he took the lead in the development of electric vehicles on a large scale, the energy density of electric vehicle batteries will be able to Doubled, the cost is reduced by about 50%.
China is striding forward in the forefront of increasing energy density, and various battery technology routes are innovating, such as graphene, lithium-air batteries, supercapacitors, etc., reports from time to time appear in the newspapers.
Constantly climbing new heights of energy density while breaking the key constraint of the new energy vehicle's cruising range, it is also promoting the technological progress of the entire battery industry. However, in this round of competition, the pure pursuit of high energy density has also raised concerns in the industry-if higher energy density means more subsidies, will the pursuit of energy density neglect battery safety, lifespan, etc. Important indicators.
However, battery safety and life are not new topics for a long time. In recent years, new energy vehicle combustion incidents are not uncommon. The service life of power batteries in new energy vehicles is 3-5 years. At the same time, in extreme environments, the attenuation of power battery energy density is a non-linear change, these doubts to some extent dispel consumers' willingness to buy new energy vehicles.
A third party has conducted a survey, and more than 90% of ordinary consumers travel within 80 kilometers per day. So does the new energy vehicle as a means of transportation have to pursue high energy density? In addition, the longer the driving range, the higher the price. Comprehensive cost-effectiveness and rational selection of the appropriate driving range will become the mainstream concept.
Therefore, only using battery energy density as the only indicator is biased. Other factors such as safety, lifespan, and economy are equally important. This is also an aspect that battery companies must focus on in future research and development.
Let’s take a look at the expansion wave of power battery capacity. Entering 2017, the momentum is fierce. Investment and production expansion are: BYD 6GWh, CATL 10GWh, Weihong Power 11GWh, Mengshi Technology 6GWh, Guoxuan Hi-Tech 4GWh, Xinwangda 6GWh, Tianjin New dynamic source 10GWh and so on. According to incomplete statistics, since 2017 alone, the number of lithium battery companies has expanded to nearly 20, with a total expansion of over 64.2GWh.
In this wave of capacity expansion, on the one hand, companies use economies of scale to reduce production costs, and on the other hand, they are also affected by the country's guidance on battery capacity thresholds. Although the 8GWh capacity threshold stipulated in the "Regulations for the Automotive Power Battery Industry (2017) (Draft for Comments)" promulgated at the end of 2016 has not yet actually been implemented, its guiding role for battery companies is self-evident. - ( Kingkong Battery )
From the perspective of the industry, the current signs of battery overcapacity have begun to appear, but this overcapacity refers to low-end production capacity, while high-end production capacity is actually insufficient. Therefore, from a long-term development point of view, there is still huge room for expansion of power battery companies.
The development of the battery industry should take into account both speed and quality. The expansion of speed and scale should be based on the actual needs of industry development, should be based on the rational judgment of the market, should be based on the innovation and development of material technology, rather than blindly following the trend of enterprises. At the same time, we should also see that with the gradual rise of the energy storage market, batteries will also usher in an opportunity to flex their muscles in the field of energy storage, and there is no technical difficulty in switching from power batteries to batteries for energy storage.
For the majority of battery companies, the most important thing is to take the market, demand, and technology as the entry point to ensure high-quality batteries, appropriate scale, innovation-driven, and create irreplaceable market competitiveness.
- ( Kingkong Battery )