As the battery shortage reappears, how can new energy car companies find another way?

by:CTECHi     2021-08-30
Author/Jiushui Luomu Recently, a car company owner claimed that the shortage of batteries is more worrying than the shortage of chips. While the 'chip shortage' continues to stir the auto industry, the 'battery shortage' has exposed the hidden worries of new energy car companies. As early as October 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the battery shortage prevented Tesla from increasing the production of electric truck Semi. In the earnings call in January this year, he reiterated this point, saying that battery supply has become 'the current bottleneck in the popularization of electric vehicles.' Li Bin, the founder of Weilai Automobile, also said that the supply of battery production in the Ningde era is 'better than expected.' nervous'. Usually a new energy vehicle, the cost of power lithium battery accounts for 30 to 40%. In the past few years, from overseas brand electric vehicles such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar, to domestic electric brands such as Geely, Weilai, Xiaopeng, etc., have all fallen into the dilemma of battery shortage. To some extent, the shortage of power lithium batteries has always been the 'Sword of Damocles' hanging on the heads of many new energy car companies. However, from another perspective, the 'battery shortage' also means a strong demand for new energy vehicles. Gong Min, head of my country’s automotive industry at UBS, bluntly stated that the strong demand for new energy vehicles is the direct cause of the tight supply of power lithium batteries. “The new energy vehicle market is developing too fast this year, and the battery industry is indeed insufficient.” my country’s automotive power lithium battery industry Alliance data show that in the first four months of 2021, the cumulative installed capacity of power lithium batteries in my country is about 31.6GWh (1GWhu003d1 million KWh), a year-on-year increase of 241%. The China Automobile Association predicts that in 2021, domestic new energy vehicles will reach 1.8 million, a year-on-year increase of about 40%. In addition, Bloomberg industry analyst SteveMan analyzed that the battery consumption of my country's new energy vehicles is expected to reach 2100GWh in 2040, which is equivalent to a compound annual growth rate of 21% compared to 47Gwh in 2020. Recently, Lithium-ion battery manufacturers Yiwei Lithium Energy and Azure Lithium Cell said that the company's production lines have been operating at full capacity. Kaiyuan Securities pointed out that in the first half of 2021, the leading companies in all aspects of lithium battery materials are basically in a state of full production. The high-speed increase in demand for the entire industry chain is becoming more and more certain, and the prosperity will be further improved in the second half of the year. The strong demand makes the performance of lithium-ion battery companies exceptionally dazzling. In the first quarter of this year, the performance of leading companies such as CATL, Yiwei Lithium Energy, and Ganfeng Lithium Industry doubled. At present, 14 lithium-ion battery concept stocks have announced the performance forecast for the first half of 2021. Among them, 9 stocks such as Skyline and Ganfeng Lithium are expected to at least double their net profits in the first half of the year. The surge in battery raw material prices, in addition to the expansion of demand from downstream car companies, the soaring price of raw materials caused by commodity inflation has also brought difficulties to the supply of power lithium batteries. The raw materials of traditional lithium-ion batteries are mainly cathode materials, anode materials, separators, electrolytes and other auxiliary materials. Among them, the cathode material is mainly composed of lithium carbonate and precursor materials, which account for the largest proportion of the cost of lithium-ion batteries. According to data from Pacific Securities Research Institute, since 2021, the price of lithium carbonate has almost doubled compared with the same period in 2020. The price of ternary precursors, lithium iron phosphate, lithium hydroxide and other raw materials have increased by nearly half, and the price of lithium hexafluorophosphate has increased the highest, reaching 147 .8%. Earlier, it was reported that the battery quotation of the Ningde era would increase by 10%. The company officially rejected the rumors, but at the shareholders meeting on May 21, Zeng Yuqun said, “If (price) rises very high again, it must be The impact on our costs is relatively large. To what extent we want to pass it to the downstream, we are also considering this issue. 'It may have been anticipated that the cost of raw materials will rise, and the Ningde era will increase the layout of mineral resources. . Since 2018, CATL has respectively subscribed for the shares of North American Lithium Industry and Australian Lithium Mining Company. It has also established a joint venture with German Nanotech, a leading company in lithium iron phosphate cathode materials. In 2020, CATL participated in the capital increase of lithium iron phosphate material companies such as Hunan Yuneng and Jiangxi Shenghua. On April 11 this year, CATL and Luoyang Molybdenum joined hands to develop copper and cobalt mines in Congo. The price of raw materials has risen and the profit margin has been compressed. No one wants to eat this 'dumb loss'. However, compared with the Ningde era, some small and medium-sized companies do not have such confidence and courage. As far as battery manufacturers are concerned, if they raise battery prices, they may lose long-term orders, but without price increases, the company is under obvious pressure and its survival may be threatened. Since the beginning of this year, companies such as Far East Battery, Zhuoneng New Energy, Penghui Energy, Hengdian Dongmag and Delangen have issued battery price increase letters. According to Yang Hongxin, president of Honeycomb Energy, the pressure of rising raw material prices is concentrated on battery manufacturers, and automakers will not easily agree to price increases. Although suppliers have also undertaken part of the price increase pressure, the current pressure on battery manufacturers is indeed very high.
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