China, Japan And South Korea Power Battery Battle Has Begun, Who Will Swallow The 100 Billion Market

- Jan 08, 2020-

Recently, according to foreign media reports, with the decline of China's new energy vehicle subsidies, South Korean battery manufacturers are increasing investment in China. After the "Lightning" meeting in April, the Ningde era will be officially listed on the GEM in May. According to estimates, the market value of Ningde Times may exceed 300 billion after listing, becoming the largest stock on GEM. The unicorn in the Chinese battery industry has just stood still, and Korean battery companies are ready to move in preparation for robbing the Chinese new energy vehicle market in 2020.


Unlike the huge disparity in the strength of the battery industry in China, Japan, and South Korea two years ago, this time the Japanese and South Korean battery companies launched an offensive against the Chinese power battery market again. The Chinese power battery industry already has "resistance"-will soon be listed on the GEM Ningde era.


Battery "unicorn" born of policy


The Ningde Times, which was established in December 2011, has grown to become the world's largest sales company of power batteries in 2017 (in 2017), surpassing Panasonic, which has a 100-year history and the only power battery supplier of Tesla, and LG Chem with 70 years of history.


Last year, global automotive power lithium battery production was 69GWh, and Chinese companies contributed 44.5GWh, accounting for 64.5%. Among them, Ningde Times sold 12GWh, ranking first in the world, and accounting for 17% of the total global sales of power batteries, accounting for 30% of China's new energy vehicle power battery installed capacity of 36.27Gwh last year. According to public information, the value of Ningde Times in January 2016 was 1.5 billion, and by July it had risen to 23 billion, and in November it had reached 81 billion.


Behind the rapid development and the scale of "one sky high", this Chinese private enterprise is full of mystery. Judging from the time of the establishment of the Ningde era and the release of China's new energy vehicle policy, the all-rounder of the Ningde era is behind the powerful pusher of policy.


Beginning in 2009, the Chinese government has clearly defined the route for the development of new energy vehicle industry. Therefore, the establishment of the Ningde era officially responded to the country's call for the development of new energy vehicle industry. The huge impetus of the policy to the Ningde era was fully demonstrated in 2016.


Behind the rapid "swelling" of the Ningde era, it officially originated from "Specification Conditions for Automotive Power Battery Industry" issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on March 24, 2016. The policy stipulates that the promotion catalog of new energy vehicles is bundled with the “Specification Conditions for the Automotive Power Battery Industry”, that is, new energy vehicle products that use batteries that have not entered the catalog, will not be included in the promotion catalog of new energy vehicles from May 1, Unable to obtain policy subsidies.


Among the several batches of power battery companies announced successively, Samsung, LG and other foreign battery companies have not been listed. Under the guidance of policies, new energy automobile companies have interrupted the procurement of foreign power batteries, and have instead purchased the products of Chinese power battery companies that have entered the catalog. Therefore, with the help of policy, the best time for Ningde Times to take off. In January 2016, the valuation of Ningde Times was only 1.5 billion. In just 10 months, its valuation in November 2016 increased 54 times to 81 billion.


At present, Ningde Times has signed long-term cooperation agreements with large domestic vehicle companies such as Yutong, SAIC, BAIC, Geely, Fuzhou, CRRC, Dongfeng and Changan. In the joint venture, Ningde Times also entered the supply system of BMW and Volkswagen. After listing on the GEM in May this year, its market value is expected to exceed 300 billion. At this point, the Ningde era will complete its fabulous road to growth and listing.


China, Japan and South Korea power battery grab battle has begun


The listing time of the Ningde era can be described as "just in time". Because the protection of policies always has a deadline, this time point is when the subsidies for new energy vehicles will completely decline in 2020. Moreover, driven by the new energy vehicle double-point policy, 2020 is also the start of a large number of joint ventures to launch new energy vehicles in the Chinese market. When the subsidies are completely eliminated, new energy vehicles enter the stage of market-oriented development, and the power battery industry will also enter a fair market-oriented competition.


According to the plan, China's new energy vehicle sales will reach 2 million units in 2020, and its holdings will reach 5 million units. According to industry forecasts, the demand for power batteries will reach 100GWh in 2020, and the corresponding market size will exceed 100 billion. Given the needs and market conditions, Japanese and South Korean power battery companies will obviously not miss the opportunity to snatch the world's largest new energy vehicle power battery market.


"Korean battery makers are receiving inquiries from automakers." A South Korean battery company executive revealed, "This is because, as China's electric vehicle subsidy policy ends at the end of 2019, automakers need to do a good job for their new models ready."


Facing the new energy vehicle market with full market competition in 2020, more competitive products are the key for auto companies to seize the market. Therefore, the technology-leading Japanese and Korean power batteries will once again attract the attention of auto companies.


As early as 2015, South Korea's three major battery manufacturers, Samsung, LG and SK, have already invested in China to set up factories to provide power batteries for car companies such as SAIC and BAIC. In order to meet the needs of the Chinese market in 2020, South Korea's SK changed SK Battery China Holdings to "SK Blue Dragon Energy" and invested 86.4 billion won. Samsung SDI also announced a 239.4 billion won investment to establish a battery materials manufacturing joint venture in China.


In addition, in March this year, Panasonic's "new energy special square lithium battery factory" in Dalian, China officially put into production, and its annual production capacity can meet the power battery demand for 200,000 new energy vehicles. Earlier this year, Panasonic said it was considering establishing a super battery factory with Tesla in China.


Of course, in the face of competition from foreign companies, Chinese power battery companies are also actively expanding production capacity to prepare sufficient "ammunition" for the upcoming "war." Among them, Ningde Times plans to list and raise 13.1 billion yuan in financing. 8.9 billion yuan will be used to build a new plant with a capacity of 24 GWh. It will reach a total capacity of 50 GWh by 2020, accounting for half of the market demand in 2020.


Tech battle


In terms of volume, whether it is Panasonic in Japan, Samsung, LG or SK in South Korea, or the Ningde era in China, it will not be able to meet the huge market demand in the future. With Japanese and South Korean battery companies investing in the Chinese market, a dominant situation in the Ningde era of the power battery industry will no longer exist in the future. The battle between the giants may quietly begin this year, and there is more behind this competition. The competition is technical strength.


From the scale of the company, production and sales, and market value, China's Ningde era has been on par with Japan's Panasonic, South Korea's LG, Samsung, etc., and even surpasses competitors. Therefore, in the case of small differences in enterprise strength, technology will become the focus of competition in a market-oriented competitive environment.


The level of power battery technology is intuitively reflected in the length of cruising range on new energy vehicles. At present, China's new energy vehicle market has a range of 150-199km, more than half of the total, and only 10 models have a range of more than 400km.


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According to the latest technology demonstrated by Samsung at the Frankfurt Auto Show last year, its vehicle range can reach 600-700 kilometers when 20 battery modules are installed, and it can reach 300 kilometers when 10 to 12 battery modules are installed. South Korea's SKI started mass production of NCM811 batteries last year, with a range of 500km, and new batteries developed in 2020 are expected to reach 700km. China's Ningde Times is developing new products with an energy density of 300Wh / Kg. It is expected that the cruising range will exceed 600 kilometers.


Driven by the new energy vehicle industry, battery companies are also continuously improving the technology development of power batteries. In terms of technology research and development, Chinese battery companies have developed with Japanese and South Korean companies in recent years. However, Chen Quanshi, a professor of automotive engineering at Tsinghua University and director of the electric vehicle research laboratory, said: "In the technology research and development, the Ningde era is not weaker than Japanese and Korean companies, but it still has the same precision and production consistency as Japanese and Korean battery companies gap."


It is undeniable that under the protection of policies, China's power battery industry has made significant progress in scale and technology, narrowing the gap with the international battery technology level. As the subsidy policy for new energy vehicles declines, Chinese power battery companies will once again compete with international battery companies on the same starting line. Will China ’s power battery industry, which is not what it used to be, be for the Chinese automotive industry to “overtake and overtake”? "Provide a strong" Chinese core "?