In addition to the "core shortage", there is "battery shortage"?

At present, the shortage of automotive chips is troubling many automotive enterprises, but also exposed the automotive industry in the parts shortage of many predicament. According to CCTV finance report, the stock price of CATL, the power lithium battery, rose several days, and its total market value exceeded 1.3 trillion yuan. Behind its capital market performance, the "battery shortage" problem in the new energy vehicle industry is highlighted.

Current situation: New energy batteries have been in short supply for nearly a year

Zeng Yuqun, CATL's chairman, said at a shareholder meeting in late May that he had been "overwhelmed" by recent requests from customers. Meanwhile, He Xiaopeng, CEO of Xiaopeng Automobile, was revealed to have spent a week in CATL in the second quarter of this year in order to get batteries from CATL smoothly. Industry insiders pointed out that compared with the major Oems cry "lack of core" problem, the aggravation of the current battery shortage, more likely to threaten the entire new energy vehicle industry.

As the heart of new energy vehicles, the importance of power lithium battery is self-evident. Even before the chip shortage was revealed, Audi admitted for the first time last February that the e-tron had been forced to stop production briefly because of a shortage of lithium-ion power batteries; During the same period, the Jaguar I-Pace was also halted due to LG's supply of lithium-ion batteries. At the end of January, Musk said for the first time that the only factor limiting his production capacity is the supply of batteries. In early March, NiO founder Bin Li highlighted the "battery supply chain will become a bottleneck" during an earnings call.

Insiders told reporters that the "battery shortage" of the new energy vehicle industry is not a sudden. As early as 2015, there has been a shortage of power lithium batteries in the industry, which has also affected China's new energy vehicle industry. However, there were not many new energy vehicle companies with large output at that time, and the contradiction was not too prominent. It is reported that the current production of many power lithium battery manufacturers, including Yiwei Lithium energy, has been overloaded. In a recent announcement, Ev lithium energy revealed that the company's existing sites and production lines have been operating at full capacity, and demand will continue to exceed supply in nearly a year.

In addition to the "core shortage", there is "battery shortage"?Source: Rapid expansion of demand for new energy vehicles

An important reason for the battery shortage is the rapid expansion of demand for new energy vehicles. According to EVVolumes, a total of 3.24 million neVs were sold globally in 2020, up 43% year on year. Statistics from research institute SNEResearch show that global shipments of energy storage batteries reached 20GWh in 2020, up 82% year on year. On the other hand, the domestic market, which is growing faster, also has greater demand for batteries. According to the latest statistics of China Automobile Association, in January and June this year, China's production and sales of new energy vehicles both exceeded 1.2 million, respectively reaching 1.215 million and 1.206 million, with a year-on-year increase of 2 times. Meanwhile, in June this year, China's power lithium battery output totaled 74.7GWh, up 217.5% year on year.

In China, in addition to traditional car companies' efforts to research and develop new energy vehicles, there are also "Wei Xiaoli" and other new forces in car manufacturing, whose delivery volume is rapidly increasing. In recent years, they have joined evergrande, Baidu, Xiaomi and other new entrants to stir up the market. Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the National Automobile Federation, said that the major auto brands cluster together in new energy vehicles, resulting in high quality output of the power lithium battery industry can not keep up, not only low-end production surplus, coupled with the automotive industry battery demand forecast and reality demand is far from the impact of the "battery shortage".

SNEResearch, a global emerging energy market research firm, has forecast global demand for power lithium batteries for electric vehicles to reach 406 gigawatt hours (GWH) by 2023, while power lithium battery supply is projected to be 335 GWH, a shortfall of about 18%. By 2025, the gap will have widened to about 40 percent.

Break situation: power lithium battery company to expand production

The immediate impact of the battery shortage on consumers is that they can't afford to buy a new car on time, or that some new cars cost more than before because batteries are in short supply. For automakers, the "battery shortage" not only hindered the pace of new car announcements, but also affected their plans to deliver new cars, which ultimately hurt overall revenue.

At present, in order to alleviate the "battery shortage", power lithium battery companies have expanded production. But in the short term, new energy vehicles will also face the situation of "relying on the grab" battery. Data show that there are nearly 300 companies related to solid state batteries in China, of which as many as 48% have been established for less than five years, and only 20% have been established for more than 15 years, which means that it will take a long time for the battery industry to mature and develop. According to Zeng Yuqun at this year's CATL shareholders' meeting revealed information, the current expansion of production needs 23 years, as long as 35 years; The rising price of raw materials has a big impact on the company's costs, but to what extent it needs to be transferred downstream is still under consideration.

In addition, new forms of batteries are being explored to reduce the reliance on lithium, such as solid-state batteries. Although NiO took the lead in announcing its self-developed solid-state battery pack in June this year, it is optimistic that it will be commercialized in the fourth quarter of 2022. CATL, meanwhile, plans to unveil a solid-state battery named sodium ion in July, but Zeng admits that there is still a long way to go before solid-state batteries can be commercialized. LG Chem expects to commercialize all solid-state batteries between 2025 and 2027. Panasonic won't launch an electric car using solid-state batteries until 2025. Volkswagen and BMW also expect to launch prototype cars equipped with solid-state batteries by 2025.

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