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Square, soft pack and cylindrical war
Oct 23, 2018

The big reshuffle may have started long ago.


One day in 2014, the R&D department of the Ningde era’s battery technology research and development department suddenly took away several skinny engineers, and they were immediately organized into a secret group.  Soon, this secret squad received a confidential task from the headquarters: research and development of soft pack batteries.


This made everyone unpredictable, because this group of people spent a full two years, painstakingly smashed the German version of the 800-page power battery production process data provided by BMW, the first few qualified square batteries The product has just completed the matching of the first electric car promise of BMW Brilliance.  At present, the only process of this production line has not been thoroughly grounded out. How can it suddenly be soft-packed?


Four years later, the Fujian coastal small factory, which was not known in the early days, broke into a butterfly and became the world's number one power battery company.  This large-scale factory located in a small town in Jiaocheng District of Ningde City has become the most productive place on the earth for square power batteries.  In one of the corners, a production line is quietly running. From here, the first batch of soft-packed batteries, which are different from the square hard-shell package, were transported to Dongfeng Nissan in Guangdong after a thousand kilometers of trekking. The Huadu factory is assembled on an electric car called Sylphy.


The leader of the global square power battery, opened the curtain of mass production of soft pack batteries.  This is a clear signal and an opening of a pattern change.  Perhaps as mentioned earlier, shuffling has begun.


Lithium-ion batteries, after the production of internal structures through two different structural processes, either winding or superimposing, took three different paths in the material and shape of the outer casing: cylindrical, square and soft.  Although the electrochemical principles of the three routes are essentially the same, the material composition is basically the same, but this different package form and shape characteristics determine the fate of the three batteries and the manufacturers behind them.


ONE


In 1992, Sony Corporation of Japan invented lithium-ion batteries, limited by the equipment technology and technical conditions of more than 20 years ago, and the market demand for notebook computers. Sony finally chose a technical solution that was the most stable and feasible at that time - 18650 Cylindrical battery.  However, after the miscalculation of the development prospects of electric vehicles and the mudslides that suffered from years of losses, Sony completely sold its lithium battery business at the end of 2016.  So unfortunately, the inventor of the lithium battery became the earliest outrage, and Sony is not the protagonist of this article.


However, Sony’s major strategic mistakes have made it a Japanese fellow, Matsushita Electronics.

Following Sony, the Japanese electric giant began research and development of lithium battery technology in 1994.  In 1998, Panasonic's 18650 cylindrical battery has been assembled in batches of laptops in many brands around the world, making it one of the best in the industry.  Ten years later (2008), Matsushita acquired Sanyo Electric, which was smashed by BYD from China, and has since become the world's largest supplier of lithium batteries.


In December 1997, in the Toyota factory in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, a first-generation Prius, code-named NHW10, slowly descended from the production line. As the song sang, the global auto industry “goed into a new era”.


Although it is a weak hybrid, the power battery is still required.  The first-generation Prius was loaded with a cylindrical nickel-hydrogen battery produced by PEVE (Panasonic EV Energy Co), which was established in 1996 by Toyota and Matsushita (Panasonic and Toyota each held 60% and 40% respectively).  This generation of Prius has sold 123,000 units worldwide, becoming synonymous with hybrid vehicles and even new energy vehicles.  In contrast, the world of power batteries is the world of the cylinder.


In June 2010, PEVE was renamed to Primearth EV Energy Co., and the initials were PEVE.  The reason is that Toyota became the controlling shareholder of the joint venture company (the shares held rose to 80.5%).  In 2013, on the eve of the second-generation Prius, the cylindrical battery in its battery pack was replaced by a square nickel-metal hydride battery.  Toyota's goal is to optimize the internal space of the battery pack, which greatly increases the system's energy density.


In January 2017, Toyota announced a world record, with global sales of hybrid models exceeding 10 million units, including nearly 4 million Prius (398,460 units).  In the past four years, only Toyota (or Panasonic)'s square batteries have completed the installed capacity of tens of millions of units, but the absolute number is not large, because there are only 3~5kWh power batteries in each hybrid car.

Today, Toyota is dragged down by people's criticism of pure electric vehicles, but whoever thinks that this company began to explore and try pure electric vehicles as early as the end of the last century.  In 1997, Toyota introduced the pure electric version of the RAV4, the RAV4 EV.  This generation of RAV4 EVs is used in small-scale rentals in North America, and it is the cylindrical nickel-metal hydride batteries produced by PEVE that are not expected to be used.


In February 2008, Tesla delivered the first Roadster, and 99.999% of the people on the planet wouldn't think that the new energy car would rush at such a speed in the next time, just like the electric car. Acceleration of terror.


Later generations always praised that Tesla selected suppliers from hundreds of battery brands and models worldwide, but few people mentioned that Martin Eberhard (father of Tesla) faced these various kinds of products. When the battery factory ate a lot of closed doors, and finally firmly chose the lithium battery camp, it is now clear that the choice of lithium batteries as a power battery is historically groundbreaking.


In 2010, after testing a road lap in California, Mr. Toyoda made a decision to invest $50 million in Tesla.  At the same time that Tetusla solved its urgent needs, Toyota proposed that Musk develop a lithium battery system for the second-generation RAV4 EV.

Toyota is forced to do so.


Detroit giant GM launched the pure electric vehicle EV1 earlier than Toyota in 2006, but was defeated by the RAV4 EV in the market.  So GM sold the patented Ovonics, a nickel-hydrogen battery patent, to a US oil giant, Chevron, which immediately sued Toyota, Panasonic and PEVE for patent infringement.  Although the settlement was finally reached, the result was that Toyota could not use NiMH batteries on pure electric vehicles.


Therefore, Toyota's original purpose was to help Betro Tesla solve the problem of applying lithium batteries to pure electric vehicles, although the two ended up unhappy.  But Tesla, who got Toyota's investment and factory support, eventually made the cylindrical battery stand out.



The cooperation between Panasonic and Tesla will make the road tortuous, and the prospects are bright: they jointly created the era of cylindrical lithium batteries used in pure electric vehicles.

From the 18650 lithium cobalt oxide battery on the Roadster in 2008, to the 18650 nickel-cobalt aluminum battery on the Model S and the 2015 Model X in 2012, up to the 21700 battery on the Model 3 in 2017, taking the best-selling Dongfeng of Panasonic, Panasonic For the past few years, it has been the top spot in global power battery shipments.


In 2014, Tesla sold more than 30,000 electric vehicles.  Panasonic achieved 2.7 GWh of power battery shipments, with Tesla's cylindrical battery accounting for 2.6 GWh, a 22% share of the global power battery market (11.9 GWh) that year.


The most fundamental reason for Tesla's choice of cylindrical batteries is that this type of lithium battery has a history of more than 20 years of production, the process is quite mature, and the consistency is also the highest.  However, the disadvantage of the cylindrical battery is also very obvious, that is, the capacity of the single cell is too small, which directly leads to the need for a large number of (7000~8000) cells to form the module and the battery pack, resulting in a connection loss and management complexity. The increase in level.


So far today, China's battery pack colleagues are feeling: Tesla's battery management technology is still ahead of the country for several years.


At that time, in the global power battery market, the column achieved the largest increase, nearly doubling the number in 2013, and achieved a 22% market share.


In 2014, the largest share of the global power battery market was square batteries, 45%.

Because of the sudden emergence of the Chinese market.  In the second half of the year, China’s new energy vehicle market suddenly broke out under the spur of a series of favorable policies.  This year, China’s new energy vehicles have gained a skyrocketing number of everyone, from the 166,000 units in 2013 soaring 325% to 74,800 units. The surge in downstream demand has made all power battery companies unprepared, so that cars appear. Enterprises in the battery factory lined up to grab the battery.


But in this case, China still completes 3.7GWh of power battery shipments.  Among them, square batteries account for almost all market share.


This is because the Chinese policy gave the most policy of new energy commercial vehicles at that stage, so the commercial vehicles contributed the most to the power battery.  Major auto companies are chasing policy dividends and tilting production capacity to new energy buses, trucks and special vehicles.  In 2014, the number of domestic new energy commercial vehicles equipped with power batteries accounted for more than 70% of the total market, which directly led to the explosion of square batteries.


Because commercial vehicles (especially passenger cars) have a large capacity requirement for power battery packs, hundreds of Ahs, cylindrical batteries obviously can not meet such a large capacity, for the early development of new energy vehicles, lack of experience in battery management and module technology For Chinese car companies, the large-scale use of cylindrical batteries is obviously a huge technical difficulty.  In the same way, the soft pack battery is most likely to leak when it is inflated and externally punctured. The safety considerations of the battery module and the battery pack are also the heaviest. For the Chinese car companies at that time, it is also the most difficult to use.


Therefore, the square power battery became the first choice for Chinese car companies in that era.

In 2014, it only supplied its own E6, Qin, Tengshi and K9. BYD shipped 1.3GWh, ranking first in China and fourth in the world.  The second place is not the Ningde era, because at that time it only supplied BAIC E150 and BMW Brilliance. In that year, the shipment was only 0.3GWh, ranking 10th in the world and fifth in China. It is located in BYD, Guoxuan Hi-Tech and AVIC. After lithium battery and power god.  The top five power battery companies in China were all square routes, and their combined market share was close to 70%.


The biggest feature of the square battery is that due to the regular shape, the space utilization of the battery pack is higher than that of the cylinder. Due to the hard shell (aluminum alloy shell), it is less difficult to form a group than the soft pack.


At the time when the square battery was in a large-scale siege in China, the Samsung SDI of the square-powered battery was suffering from the stagnation of business.


Samsung SDI, which is backed by the superb tree of Samsung Group, entered the battery field in 1999. It began to deploy power batteries in 2000. It can be said that it has a very forward-looking vision, but it has never found a suitable breakthrough opportunity.  Until 2008, BMW began to develop the i-series of new energy vehicles, and inspected suppliers of power batteries worldwide.  Samsung SDI seized the opportunity to establish a power battery company SB Limotive with Bosch.  Bosch and BMW have more than half a century of cooperation and are the most important core suppliers of the latter.  As a result, Samsung SDI has successfully entered the power battery supply chain of German car companies by Bosch as a leader.


Later, Samsung SDI incorporated Volkswagen (Porsche, Audi) into the supply system.  In BBA, Samsung is unique.


German cars prefer square batteries, which are derived from the rigor and prudence that Germans are used to.  At the beginning of the development of new energy vehicles, although the Germans did not know much about all kinds of batteries, but in the trial stage, they kept a basic bottom line, that is, everything must give way to safety.  German car companies believe that the safety risks of power batteries should be minimized, and products developed and designed at the car level are required. They think that the cylinders and soft bags are not in compliance with the car class.  In fact, for a long time afterwards, square batteries are considered to be the most suitable battery design for electric vehicle applications.


In 2009, BMW launched the pure electric car Megacity (the prototype of i3) equipped with Samsung SDI square battery. After that, i3 was welcomed around the world, and Samsung SDI was able to open the power battery market smoothly.  In 2012, SB Limotive was dissolved. In the second year, Samsung SDI signed a long-term cooperation agreement with BMW and became a core supplier of BMW.

But what makes Samsung SDI worry is that although it has won the top luxury brand like BMW, BMW has been reluctant to move too much in the field of electric vehicles, so that the power battery that can be used for many years is only the i series. Two models.  Although it has established a cooperative relationship with Chrysler and Tata India, it has not been on the scale.


So until 2014, Samsung SDI only completed 0.6GWh of shipments.  It is just 40% of the weight of another Korean fellow LG Chem.


THREE


LG Chem is the only battery company in the world that has both a chemical and a material base. Not only can it achieve self-sufficiency in some ternary materials, but its diaphragm technology is unique.  LG Chem has accumulated many years of experience in the field of soft-package batteries for consumer electronics. In order to make full use of the internal space of electronic equipment, it has developed the world's first stepped and hexagonal soft pack battery.


In 2009, LG Chem applied its own soft-package battery to Hyundai-Kia Hybrid, and officially entered the power battery market.


In 2010, GM officially launched the first mass-production new energy vehicle Chevrolet Volt. The entire GM Group is equipped with LG Chem's soft pack battery for this high-powered new energy model.  Later, including Chevrolet Bolt, Ford's Fox electric version, Chrysler's Grand Jet electric version uses LG Chemical's soft pack battery, the entire Detroit three, almost all captured by LG Chemical.

American cars have taken the soft bag route from the beginning, because the Detroit people are most concerned about the cruising range of electric vehicles, so the soft pack form with the highest energy density is preferred.  The soft-packed battery case is made of aluminum-plastic film, and the aluminum-plastic film and the aluminum or stainless steel outer casing of the cylindrical and square batteries are not a heavyweight player.  In fact, since the aluminum plastic film has an absolute advantage over the steel shell and the aluminum shell in weight reduction, the weight of the soft pack battery is 40% lighter than the steel shell battery of the same capacity, and 20% lighter than the aluminum shell battery, so the soft pack The battery has an inherent advantage in specific energy.

Similarly, the soft pack battery can be 15% higher than the steel shell battery of the same size, 10% higher than the aluminum shell battery, and the energy density is very cheap.


In 2014, LG Chem won 1.5GWh of power battery shipments, ranking third in the world.  But it was not the soft pack battery supplier that shipped the most in the year, because AESC was in a state of strength at that time.


In 2007, Nissan and Japan's other home appliance giant NEC jointly established the power battery company AESC. In order to achieve the fastest loading, the company directly used NEC's soft-package battery for mobile phone products to meet the vehicle-level standards. .  In 2010, the Nissan Leaf, a purely electric vehicle that was mass-produced in the world, became popular. It sold more than 100,000 in early 2014 and exceeded 200,000 by the end of 2015.


Before 2015, each Leaf was equipped with a 24kWh battery, and then the models sold in Europe and North America were upgraded to 30kWh. In the era of only 0.3GWh shipments in the Ningde era, several GWh orders were placed. Constantly flew to AESC, let this power battery manufacturer have no choice at the moment.


This has become the most brilliant era of soft pack batteries. In 2014, the world's top three, soft pack companies accounted for two seats, soft packs accounted for 33% of the global power battery market share.


The soft pack battery has the advantages of light weight, large battery capacity, good safety performance, good cycle performance, long cycle life, small internal resistance, high vehicle adaptability, and flexible layout.  In particular, due to the flexibility and variability of volume and shape, it is also favored by plug-in hybrid vehicles. GM, Hyundai, Renault-Nissan and Volvo's plug-in models, all without exception, are soft-packed batteries (LG Chemistry).


But not that you are not good enough, but that your opponent is too strong.


The leaps and bounds of Tesla and the more daring Chinese new energy vehicle market are driving the rapid growth of cylinders and squares.


FOUR


In 2015, Tesla's sales rose nearly 60%, and the global sales of more than 50,000, directly pull the Panasonic cylindrical battery to achieve 4.5GWh shipments.


In the same year, China's new energy vehicle sales surged by 343% year-on-year to 331,100 units, directly driving domestic power battery shipments to surge by 830% to 15.7GWh.  BYD shipped 3GWh, which directly climbed to the second place in the world. The Ningde era surged 633% to 2.2GWh, ranking from the 11th to the second place in the world.


At that time, LG Chem shipped 1.4GWh, AESC only 1.3GWh, and another square giant Samsung SDI only 0.5GWh, still crouching.  In this year, the global market share of squares, soft packs and cylinders was 61%, 14% and 25%.


The soft bag fell to the bottom.


In 2016, Tesla sold 76,000 vehicles worldwide and continued to maintain a growth rate of more than 50%. In the same period, Panasonic cylindrical batteries shipped 7.2GWh, an increase of 60%.  Coupled with the start of several cylindrical power battery companies in China, the global share of cylindrical batteries has increased to 28% this year.


Although China's new energy vehicle sales growth rate has dropped significantly to 53%, it still completed sales of 507,000 units.  BYD has been the best-selling car manufacturer of new energy passenger cars in the world for the second year in a row, and finally became the global power battery leader. It shipped 7.3GWh in the same year, and the Ningde era continued to surge 210. % to 6.8GWh, ranking third in the world.  Samsung SDI can finally sell the BMW i series in the world with a sales volume of 62,000 units, and the shipment has finally exceeded 1GWh, reaching 1.2GWh.  The global market share of square batteries has further increased to 64%.


LG chemistry is still not warm, 1.6GWh is not satisfactory.  The main reason is that although there are a lot of supporting models, they are all in the initial stage of sales. The only one that has won the hand is a Chevrolet Volt with an annual sales of 28,000, so its shipments have not increased significantly.  AESC sold 1.7GWh of soft-packed batteries to the 52,000 Nissan Leaf and 20,000 Renault Zoe batteries to maintain the top five positions in the world.


The market share of soft packs has fallen to 8% worldwide. If there is a spokesperson, he will say: "This year is the most difficult year for cylindrical batteries."


In 2017, many changes have taken place.


Tesla's annual sales exceeded 100,000 units for the first time, and the Chinese market completed 777,000 units.


The Ningde era, which sold 11.85 GWh of power batteries, became the world's number one. It is only three years ago that its shipments were still after the decimal point, and there were only a handful of customers.  Today, the supporting customers of the Ningde era have been able to fill a whole mobile phone screen, and as long as it is willing, you can come back one screen.


BYD has been sitting on the global new energy passenger car for three consecutive years, but it has only sold 7.2GWh of power batteries. Opening up is imminent.


With the strategic new customer BMW nearly 100,000 new energy vehicle sales, Samsung SDI achieved more than double the growth rate, and scored 2.8GWh shipping results.


Panasonic still has no suspense, Tesla, which has a hot sales situation, has contributed nearly 10GWh of cylindrical batteries, and with the contribution of cylindrical manufacturers such as China's BAK (1.6GWh), the cylinder still maintains a market of no less than 23%. Accounting rate.


The most popular thing is LG Chem. Although he lost the Chinese market cake with his brother, SDI, this year, he won the matching orders for the two best-selling electric cars Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe. The GM (Chevrolet Volt and Bolt) has finally surpassed the installed capacity of 50,000. LG Chem's soft pack battery shipments have achieved the largest increase in history (nearly 200%) to 4.5GWh, as if they were turned over to the serf and sang .


Wan Jiahuan’s family is the former soft-package giant AESC. Due to the advantage of the lithium manganate technology route, Nissan has been abandoned from the list of exclusive suppliers, and the days have been extremely hard.  However, relying on some LG chemistry to eat the remaining wreckage, I also got a 1GWh list.


Coupled with the rise of shipments of soft-package power battery manufacturers such as Guoneng (1.9GWh) and Fueng Technology (1.3GWh) in China, the market share of soft packs in the world has rapidly rebounded to 19%.


In stark contrast, the square market share was challenged for the first time, dropping to 58%.


In the three years from 2015 to 2017, the global power battery market experienced the process of rising and falling of square batteries and the first rise and fall of soft pack batteries. This is in line with the Chinese market (63.19% square in 2015 and 24.32% soft pack in 2016; 2016) The annual square is 67.65%, the soft package is 11.17%; the 2017 square is 58.92%, and the soft package is 12.98%).


Is this a normal market volatility, or is it a soft pack to counterattack?


FIVE


The pattern of China's power battery market is quietly undergoing some interesting changes.

A careful study of the rankings of domestic power battery companies in the first eight months of 2018 will reveal some intriguing and intriguing changes.

 

Some second-tier and even second-tier companies are not ranked in the rankings. In less than a year, in the fierce battlefield of the giants, they have achieved a certain degree of counterattack: this latest domestic power battery enterprise installed capacity In the list of TOP 20, the company's ranking rose from the 6th to the 4th at the end of 2017, while the market share expanded from 3% to 5%; Wanxiang was promoted from 15 to 9, and the power of Jiewei from last year's list. Anonymous squeezed in and sat on the 13th chair.


China's power battery industry, whether it is the market or the resources of all parties are increasingly concentrated in a very small number of head enterprises, is already a foregone conclusion.  I thought that in this increasingly harsh market, after the tragic killing, it would be a sorrowful sorrow. I didn’t think that some unknown companies have begun to prosper.


On August 10, Yiwei Lithium announced that it has officially signed a "Supply Agreement" with Daimler Group, which will supply soft-packed power batteries to the world's largest luxury car giant until December 31, 2027.  The 7th power battery company became the second Chinese power battery company to enter the Daimler supply chain system after the Ningde era.  Whether it is for the entire Chinese power battery industry or Yiwei lithium energy, the huge positive significance behind this is self-evident.


It is particularly worth mentioning that on April 10 this year, the Huizhou factory, which has a 1.5Gwh annual soft pack power battery, was officially put into operation. It actually entered Daimler's supply chain system four months later.  At the beginning of the year, Daimler was sent out to inspect the news of China's many power battery companies. The final result was the selection of Yiwei Lithium Energy.  At the same time, Daimler has become an international car company that adopts the soft bag route after Renault-Nissan, General Motors, Hyundai, Ford and Volvo.


On September 14th, Shanghai Fosun Art Center, Guo Guangchang, who had not appeared in public for a long time, was actually present.  Fosun announced the formal investment in Tianjin Gateway, and the latter even shouted the goal of “being the top three in domestic power battery within five years”.  For Jetway, which has just squeezed into the top 20 in the domestic market and shipped only 0.2GWh, Fosun’s father, who is worthy of trillions of dollars, said on the spot: “Support!”

On July 19, Yonhap News reported that LG Chem will invest about 2 billion US dollars in China to build a new power battery factory in Nanjing, China.  The plant will start construction in October this year and will be officially put into production next October.  Since then, production will gradually increase until 2023 to an annual output of 32GWh.


This is the second power battery factory built by LG Chem in China. The first Nanjing factory was sold to Geely of China two years ago. The latter transferred all equipment to Zhejiang Jinhua to build a 2GWh annual power battery. Base, the news said that Geely will expand two production lines in the future. What is certain is that the production is still using soft-package batteries of LG technology route, supporting all new energy vehicles including Lectra and Volvo.


There are indications that the wind has begun to turn from this year.  The soft pack battery suddenly began to exert its strength, directly in the ranking of the top 20 domestic power battery enterprise installed capacity in the first eight months: in this list, the power battery enterprises that purely soft pack products rose to seven, if counted Five of the soft pack production lines and the transition soft pack route have begun to increase, and soft pack power battery manufacturers can already account for 60% of the TOP 20.


For example, Fu Neng Technology, which only made soft packs, was still unknown in the industry three years ago. In just three years, it became the fourth largest power battery company in China after Ningde Times, BYD and Guoxuan Hi-Tech.  At the end of last year, BAIC New Energy gave the largest order for the single purchase of new energy vehicles in China to Fueng Technology: In the next five years, the former will purchase up to 1 million electric vehicles from the latter.

Three years ago, only a few of China's Beiqi New Energy, Jianghuai and Chery used soft pack batteries. Today, they joined the soft pack camp including SAIC-GM-Wuling, Geely, Great Wall, Zotye, Zhidou, Jiangling, Chang'an and Changhe. , Shaanxi Automobile Tongjia and other passenger car companies, as well as Yutong, Futian, Zhongtong, Nanjing Jinlong, Dongfeng, Hubei Xinchufeng, Hunan Chongqi era, Chery commercial vehicles, Ankai, Xiamen Jinlong, Shenlong, Jiangling Holdings, Commercial vehicles such as Qingdao FAW.


SIX


The soft energy and safety of the soft pack battery are in line with the expectation that the hard market demand for cruising range and car safety will continue to increase in the future.

Power battery companies have been under pressure for a long time. Before the current material system and technical conditions have no qualitative breakthrough, they can only find breakthroughs in different packaging technology routes.


Although the realization of 300Wh/kg and 250Wh/kg of the system in 2020 is not a hard target set by the state, it is the real hope of the market for power battery manufacturers. Moreover, the first to reach this standard will undoubtedly seize the market opportunity.  As of now, under the existing material system, it is impossible to achieve a monomer of 300Wh/kg whether it is a cylinder or a square.  The ternary battery packaged in a soft package is the most promising first.


This can explain why the Ningde era, Tianjin Lishen and Guoxuan Hi-Tech, the three companies that undertake the new lithium-ion battery project in the country, have chosen the soft-package technology route to achieve the monomer-to-specific energy of 300Wh/kg. The goal is now.

Since its launch in 2010, the 340,000 Nissan Leafs around the world have traveled more than 7 billion kilometers. There has not been a serious accident in the power battery, which can largely verify the safety of the soft pack battery.


Compared with the other two types of batteries, the soft pack battery once had poor consistency, low group efficiency, and easy airulence when introducing high nickel cathode material, and also with the improvement of production process and production efficiency. Improvements and continuous improvement in technology have been greatly improved over the past, which is why more and more battery companies are starting to produce, and more and more car companies are beginning to introduce soft-pack batteries.


In combination with the previous, Ningde era to carry out the layout of the soft pack field.  One of the main reasons for the author's knowledge is that since 2014, there have been many car companies looking for a door to the Ningde era to request orders for the production of soft pack batteries.  Today, the Ningde era has finally achieved soft pack production capacity. We can guess that there must be greater strategic ambition behind it, perhaps eating a huge share of soft-packed companies such as Nissan and GM.


SEVEN


At least in the foreseeable future, solid-state batteries will become the only way to improve the energy density and safety of power batteries after they become ternary materials.  So we can predict what kind of package structure will the power battery take when the electrolyte becomes solid?

The cylinder is first removed, because the cylinder can only be wound, and it is impossible for the pole piece and the diaphragm to be wound in a solid electrolyte.


The laminated structure also has a square and a soft package. Since the liquid electrolyte is no longer used, there is no need to use a square hard case for the package protection. After all, for the power battery, the energy density is as large as possible. 


Therefore, before the birth of the fourth package form, the ideal package form for solid-state batteries in the future is the soft package. Therefore, once the solid-state battery is industrialized, the high probability will be the soft pack.


Therefore, at this time, those battery manufacturers who have firmly adhered to the soft package route from the beginning, and some companies that have a foresight to start to deploy soft packs, will gain huge first-mover advantage in the future for the future to gain experience in soft packs. .

The author has communicated with many people in the industry. They almost all think that the time of arrival of solid-state batteries is around 2025, but the only concern is whether it can be scaled up.  So, for the next seven years, today's square and cylindrical companies may need to consider the future not far away.


Don't hold on to the chance to reinvent the production line temporarily, because the complexity of battery production can be said to be beyond imagination.  Although the process of soft pack battery and square battery is basically the same in the front stage of production from the stirring to the pole piece die cutting process, the process difference is mainly concentrated in the middle and back sections, but if you think that the second half of the production equipment should be removed and replaced into a soft pack. The packaging equipment, simple transformation will be all right, it is too naive.


Because the power battery is a highly systemized industrial product, it is about the cooperation between all the machines on the entire production line.  The production of power batteries is a great test for the systemic force of the entire production chain, including long-term cooperation and running-in between software and processes. If the cooperation is not good, it will directly lead to poor consistency of the batteries and low yield.

 

This phenomenon is often encountered in the power battery industry, that is, the same production equipment, the same production process and even the original people who are not moving, the quality of the produced battery products is too much, the secret of which is the production process. The Know-How of the process and the long-term exploration and running-in is not a simple one-off effort.


Therefore, the international battery giant has more than ten or even more than 20 years of production experience, which is the most important core competitiveness of Panasonic, Samsung and LG.  As the industry circulates, the so-called technical gap in power batteries is actually more than 60% of production, and the gap in materials is only 40%.


EIGHT


Based on the above, we can draw the following judgments:

A cylindrical battery will eventually go down after a short-term outbreak in the future.

The fate of the cylinder depends on Tesla's attitude.  In the future, with the complete release of Model 3 capacity (annual production of 50,000 vehicles, 240,000 vehicles per year), even with the opening of the global market to generate more sales, Panasonic's cylindrical battery will be truly brilliant: Model 3 single car battery 75kWh, 240,000 units or 18GWh!

But Panasonic and its cylindrical batteries are likely to be abandoned by Tesla for two reasons:

1. The cost of a battery pack for a cylindrical battery is much higher than that of a square and a soft pack, and the advantages of the cylinder will no longer be as the latter two are infinitely close to the former in terms of product consistency and energy density;

2. According to rumors, Panasonic has already made a slap on the capacity of Model 3, forcing Tesla to accept the price increase of 21,700 batteries, causing Musk to become a big hit.  Insiders revealed to the author that Tesla has started to engage with Samsung SDI to discuss the use of Samsung square batteries on Model Y.

3. In terms of the law and essence of material development and commercial development, cylindrical batteries are not born from the car, but are the products of the early stage of the development of new energy vehicles, the era of square and soft package technology and technology.  Only the two types of power batteries that are born from the car, that is, square and soft pack batteries will develop into the mainstream.

The second soft pack is gradually eroding the square market share until it occupies the majority share, or even completely replaces it.


Replace the soft square, is essentially a process of battery application of new energy passenger cars continue to replace commercial vehicles. The country's new energy vehicle market starting from the new energy vehicle, so early in the new energy vehicle installed capacity accounted for 70% of the proportion of square battery certainly most suitable for commercial vehicles and direct benefit.

But today the situation has been reversed, new energy vehicles installed capacity has more than 60%, and this trend still will continue. Which is more suitable for application in passenger car battery packages, will have to play the stage.


Of course, the real history is the final result by history and human interaction. 


With the domestic market, soft real rise speed and intensity, largely depends on the big boss of the Ningde times strategy.

Because there are a lot of problems waiting for the decision:

If the past transition roolls, spending millions to tens of billions of how to do?

If the Ningde times of transition, this is BYD?

If the battery supplier to the transformation, the car enterprises decide on what path to follow?

If the soft transition battery business, will create the pouch cell equipment market tens of billions of orders in the upstream, the localization rate of less than 10% plastic film material market, who can seize this opportunity? 


The curtain opened, please look forward to.

                                                                               


Source: Yan Shiqi built about car reviews


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