U.S. battery industry chain 'catch up'

by:CTECHi     2021-09-14
Foreign media reported that American battery materials company SilaNano has received US$590 million (approximately RMB 3.8 billion) in Series F financing to support its construction of a silicon-based anode material production base in North America. SilaNano was established in 2011. The company has developed a battery negative electrode product series with silicon as an important material, aiming to replace the traditional graphite electrode with this material, thereby increasing the capacity of the battery cell. SilaNano claims that its materials can increase the energy density of lithium-ion batteries by 20%, and it is even expected to increase by 40%. These materials are used in the production of new generation batteries, which have the characteristics of long service life, ultra-low expansion rate and high energy density. Since its establishment, SilaNano has successively received investments from companies such as Daimler, BMW, ATL, 8VC, Bessemer Venture Partners, South Korea’s Samsung, Chengwei Capital, Matrix Partners, SiemensNext47, and utterHill Ventures. The current valuation is US$3.3 billion. (Approximately RMB 21.5 billion). Currently, SilaNano is cooperating with companies such as BMW and ATL to develop next-generation batteries. However, SilaNano announced plans to achieve mass production of its silicon-based anode materials in 2024, which means that its new battery materials cannot be commercialized yet. Obtaining certification from car companies means years of work to ensure the reliability of battery materials in the next 10 to 20 years,' said Gene Berdichevsky, CEO of SilaNano. Our partnership is geared towards the mid-2020 production target, but qualification certification It will take a long time. Behind SilaNano's acceleration of mass production of new battery materials is that the United States is currently strengthening the construction of the local electric vehicle battery supply chain to enhance the United States’ competitive advantage in the electric vehicle industry chain. US President Biden, February 24 Japan signed an executive order aimed at addressing the vulnerabilities in the supply chain of essential goods in the United States, including semiconductors and lithium batteries for electric vehicles. Its climate plan aims to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and is expected to be launched at the federal government level in the future The long-term development plan of new energy vehicles. This means that the United States will invest more capital and policy support in the construction of the local power lithium battery industry chain, so as to provide local lithium battery companies with good development opportunities. For American automakers, They also very much hope to produce batteries locally. At present, in addition to Tesla, OEMs including General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen and other OEMs rely on imports for battery supply in the United States. The United States lacks the capacity and industrial chain for large-scale domestic production of power lithium batteries. Supporting services. In order to ensure the stability of battery supply, US OEMs have also begun to strengthen their layout in the field of power lithium batteries. Foreign media reported that General Motors is considering building a second joint venture battery plant in the United States with its battery supplier LG Energy. Increase the production of its electric vehicles. Prior to this, GM and LG Energy had jointly invested US$2.3 billion (approximately RMB 16.2 billion at the exchange rate at the time) to establish a battery plant UltiumCellsLLC in Lordstown, Ohio, with a planned output of 30GWh. Production is expected to start by the end of 2022. General Motors CEO Mary Barra said that the battery shortage is one of the reasons why GM invested in its own battery manufacturing. Ford and Volkswagen have been approved by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) for their battery supplier SKI. ) It was finally ruled that it had infringed on the trade secrets of its competitor LG Chem, and SKI was banned by ITC from selling batteries, modules, battery packs and related parts in the United States for the next 10 years. Currently, SKI is building two power lithium battery plants in the United States, and also It has a combined billion-dollar battery order for Ford and Volkswagen. Once ITC officially implements the ban, it will undoubtedly have a great impact on SKI’s lithium battery business in the United States and the battery supply of Ford and Volkswagen. Under this situation, the United States The construction process of the electric supply chain will also be further accelerated.
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