BMS market competition pattern and industry opportunities

BMS market competition pattern and industry opportunities

Table of Contents

The BMS chip market has long been monopolized by European and American companies such as TI, ADI, and NXP. Benefiting from the advantages of the terminal machine and the battery industry chain, China has a strong say in the development of independent brand BMS.

Moreover, the strong demand of China’s new energy vehicle industry will become an important driving force for the development of the BMS industry, and Chinese BMS manufacturers will usher in better development opportunities in the future.

The BMS chip refers to the ability to monitor the battery in real time to prevent it from overcharging, overdischarging, overvoltage, overcurrent, and overtemperature, so as to ensure the smooth operation of the battery system and prolong the service life of the battery.

Distributed architecture BMS becomes the future development trend

In terms of technology composition, BMS mainly involves BMS core chip technology, BMS system architecture design, embedded hardware development and testing, embedded software development and testing, software and hardware integration testing, functional safety technology, etc.

From the perspective of hardware, the BMS hardware is BMIC, which mainly includes chips such as AFE, MCU, ADC, and digital isolator. Among them, the AFE analog front-end chip is used to collect information such as cell voltage and temperature, and also supports battery balancing functions. Generally speaking, the chip will integrate passive balancing functions;

The MCU chip in the BMS plays the role of processing the information collected by the BMS AFE chip and calculating the state of charge (SOC); The digital isolator is mainly used for digital communication between high and low voltage to realize the electrical isolation function between high and low voltage modules.

Distributed architecture BMS becomes the future development trend

From the perspective of topology, BMS can be divided into three types: centralized BMS, distributed BMS and semi-centralized BMS according to different project requirements.

●Centralized BMS: The centralized BMS can collect all batteries with one BMS hardware, which has the advantages of low cost, compact structure, and high reliability. It is generally common in small battery pack scenarios with low capacity, low total voltage, and small battery system volume;

●Distributed BMS: The distributed BMS adopts a master-multiple-slave structure. Functions such as voltage and temperature collection and equalization are completed by the slave controller. One slave controller manages several batteries.

The main control and slave control bus communication adopts the structure of BMU (battery management controller) + multiple CSC (single management unit), which can independently separate the functions of the battery module;

●Semi-centralized BMS: The semi-centralized BMS adopts BMU + a small number of large CSCs, which belongs to the combined application of centralized and distributed, and is used in battery packs with strange module arrangements.

In recent years, with the continuous development of power battery systems to high capacity, high total voltage and large volume, BMS with distributed architecture has been more and more used in more complex scenarios such as large battery packs, and has become the future development trend of BMS.

The distributed BMS system connected has a higher cost advantage, and it will be more and more widely used in the future. In terms of market size, benefiting from the rapid development of industries such as energy storage and new energy vehicles in recent years, the BMS market has grown rapidly.

According to 2021 data, the global BMS market size is expected to be 6.512 billion US dollars, and it is expected to reach 13.1 billion US dollars by 2026, with a CAGR of 15%. China’s BMS market demand in 2021 will be 10 billion RMB. In the future, with the expansion of the electric vehicle market and the improvement of battery efficiency requirements, the BMS market is expected to achieve steady growth.

Global BMS market size

Three types of companies in BMS market

At present, the BMS market is mainly participated by three types of companies: vehicle manufacturers, battery manufacturers, and third-party manufacturers. The three have their own advantages and disadvantages and focus, and they all hope to seize the huge development opportunities brought about by the energy transition under the background of “dual carbon”.

Specifically, vehicle manufacturers represented by BYD, Tesla, Geely, BAIC, and Xiaopeng have strong comprehensive strengths. Integrate the power battery system business including BMS by absorbing talents upstream, acquisitions and strategic cooperation. After the integration, through independent research and development, the core technology will be applied to its own products to improve the safety performance of vehicle power batteries.

Battery manufacturers represented by CATL, Sunwoda, Desay Battery, AVIC Lithium Battery, and Guoxuan High-Tech usually cover multiple links such as batteries, BMS, and PACK. These companies have strong technical strength and have accumulated core battery data for many years, so they can apply BMS to battery packs and sell them to downstream end customers as a whole.

In addition, third-party manufacturers represented by Texas Instruments, Analog Devices, Infineon, STMicroelectronics, Kelie Technology, Super Thinking, Synergy Technology, Huatai Semiconductor, and Shengbang have very professional R&D teams.

With strong technical strength and rapid product iteration capabilities, it mainly makes profits by selling BMS products, solutions and services to downstream battery manufacturers and terminal manufacturers, but its relationship with terminal customers is relatively unstable.

Three types of enterprises in BMS market

In terms of competition pattern, according to the data, in 2022, Findreams Battery (a subsidiary of BYD), CATL, Tesla, Huting Power, Ligao Technology, the installed capacity of 1,611,724, 659,503, 441,651, 392,025, and 358,588 sets respectively ranks among the top five in the industry, with a total market share of 66.20%.

It is worth mentioning that among the BMS of many manufacturers, Tesla’s BMS system is one of the most complex and technically difficult. This is mainly due to Tesla’s unique group design of a large number of cylindrical 18650 batteries, as well as 4680 large cylindrical batteries.

In the model S era, Tesla used 7104 batteries in the whole car, every 74 batteries were connected in parallel to detect the voltage, and every 444 batteries were set with 2 temperature detection points. The entire battery pack has 16*6=96 voltage sampling points and 32 temperature sampling points. It can be seen that a large number of sampled data increases the difficulty of battery management, and finally relies on high-performance BMS to set a reasonable control strategy for these data.

The highly complex battery pack has also allowed Tesla to accumulate considerable strength in the BMS field. In contrast, the BMS complexity of other manufacturers is far less than that of Tesla. For example, ID.3, the first electric vehicle of Volkswagen MEB platform, uses up to 12 battery pack modules, and its battery management algorithm is relatively simple.

BMS main downstream applications

In the era of new energy, basically all terminals using lithium batteries need to be installed with BMS for battery protection, which has gradually become a rigid need.

From the perspective of downstream applications, BMS downstream applications mainly include consumer electronics, industry, and new energy vehicles. Among them, the application of new energy vehicle power batteries accounted for 54%, consumer electronics batteries accounted for 22%, and industrial and other batteries accounted for 24%.

Main downstream applications of BMS

From the perspective of the development of China’s BMS, in the field of consumer electronics and industrial control, many Chinese brand battery management chips have emerged on the market. However, in the field of power batteries used in new energy vehicles, BMS chips still rely on imported chips from other countries, and there are very few chips made in China.

Consumer electronics market

In the consumer electronics market, mobile phones, PCs, PADs, watches, earphones and other products are mainly products with low strings (1-4 strings). BMS plays a role in metering, security, charging management and other functions, and the majority of hardware products are SoC.

Due to the relatively low technical difficulty, a large number of players have emerged in China in the field of consumer electronics BMS in recent years, gradually completing the replacement of Chinese products in the mainstream mobile phone market, and occupying a dominant position in emerging consumer electronics markets such as TWS earphones.

However, it still needs to be pointed out that although Chinese manufacturers are developing rapidly, there is still a certain gap between the current technical level and international manufacturers such as TI and ADI.

Industrial market

In the industrial control market, the terminal applications of battery management chips mainly include power tools, drones, industrial robots, and energy storage. Products in the industrial field have the characteristics of large number of battery strings, high working voltage, and strong current, so they have high technical requirements for power supply and battery management chips. The main international companies are TI and Rohm, and the Chinese companies are mainly Nuvoton and Zhongying Electronics.

From the perspective of hardware product form, the BMS of electric tools is mainly based on the combination of AFE+MCU+active equalization+isolation/communication/protection chips, while the BMS in the energy storage field is mainly based on AFE+protection chip solutions. TYCORUN ENERGY odm lithium ion battery pack manufacturer also provides BMS for household energy storage. If you want to know more about the product, please click the picture to enter the product page.

TYCORUN ENERGY lithium battery bms

TYCORUN ENERGY lithium battery BMS

Taking electric tools as an example, in recent years, wireless electric tools powered by lithium batteries have been widely welcomed due to their advantages of lightness, comfortable operation, and easy portability. In 2021 alone, the sales volume of electric tools in China will be 220 million units, and the market space is huge.

In this market, in addition to the layout of listed companies such as Zhongying Electronics and Chipsea Technology, many emerging companies such as Huatai Semiconductor and Yuchuang Semiconductor have emerged in recent years.

New energy vehicle market

In the new energy vehicle market, the cost and performance of the battery itself have become the key points for the success of the OEM, and the mileage, fast charging, and cost of the battery are closely related to the optimization of the BMS.

In terms of the two-wheeled electric motorcycle market, products with 6-16 strings are the main products, and the technical difficulty is relatively high. The safety of the chip types required by BMS is a must, but most of them do not need to be measured.

The lithium battery protection chip can realize overvoltage (OV) protection, undervoltage (UV) protection, discharge overcurrent (DOC) protection, short circuit (SC) protection, charge overcurrent (COC) protection, high temperature (OT) protection and low temperature ( UT) protection and other functions,

It also integrates a balanced drive circuit, which can achieve internal small current balance, and can also be expanded externally to achieve large current balance, which greatly improves the safety of two-wheeled motorcycle battery.

Two-wheeler battery swapping market has broad prospects

Click on the picture to learn about the prospects information of motorcycle battery and swapping station

More difficult than the development of two-wheeler BMS is the new energy vehicle BMS system. It is understood that the core chips of the vehicle-level BMS system mainly include vehicle-level BMS AFE, MCU, and digital isolation communication interface chips. Because it involves the vehicle power system, the verification period of the vehicle-level BMS AFE chip product will reach 1.5 to 2 years, and it will take at least 4 years from product definition to molding.

In addition, for the harsh automotive application environment, in addition to reliability needs to meet AEC Q100 Grade1 quality standards, it also needs to meet the ISO 26262 automotive safety integrity level ASIL-D certification. It can be seen that the comprehensive threshold for automotive AFE chips is very high. Therefore, up to now, the new energy vehicle BMS market is still monopolized by analog leading companies such as ADI, TI, ST, Infineon, NXP, Renesas, and Panasonic.

In the context of this round of chip shortages, just as the sales of new energy vehicles exploded, Chinese terminal manufacturers and lithium battery manufacturers have a strong demand for chips made in China. Power BMS is being approached from different angles, and some manufacturers have made some breakthroughs in their products and technologies.

For example, in terms of automotive-grade MCUs, Chinese manufacturers including Jayflex Technology, Allwinner Technology, Zhaoyi Innovation, CoreTech, Saiton Micro, Xiaohua Semiconductor, Core Ocean Technology, Cloudway Semiconductor and CoreTech Micro have already passed the automotive-grade AEC-Q100 certification one after another.

Final thought:

In the future, with the continuous promotion of “carbon neutrality” strategy, China’s new energy automobile industry will usher in a golden five years, which is expected to provide a broad market blue ocean space for the application of BMS chips. The BMS chip market has long been monopolized by European and American companies such as TI, ADI, and NXP. Regardless of whether it is consumer grade, industrial grade or automotive grade, more than 90% of them are imported from other countries, and the production rate in China is not high, so a breakthrough in China’s production is very important.

Benefiting from the advantages of the terminal machine and the battery industry chain, China has a strong say in the development of independent brand BMS, and the strong demand of China’s new energy vehicle industry will become an important driving force for the development of the BMS industry.

What can be expected is that under the background of the vigorous development of semiconductors in China, battery management chips are expected to make further breakthroughs in the next 3-5 years, so as to realize the replacement of Chinese production in key areas such as new energy vehicles and other high-end BMS.

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