Power Battery Market Analysis Looking Back To 2021 And Looking Forward To 2022

2022 China Power Battery Market Analysis

A few days ago, the data of power battery vehicle for 2021 was released. In 2021, the power battery production is 219.7GWh, the sales volume is 186.0GWh, and the installed capacity is 154.5GWh.

By comparing the market situation of China’s power battery in the past three years, we can see that in 2020 and 2019, the power battery is still in a horizontal state. In 2021, demand for power batteries exploded.

Comparison of power batteries in China in three years

Figure 1. Comparison of power batteries in China in 3 years

In 2021, power battery output exceeded 219.7GWh, with a year-on-year growth of 163.4%. The ternary battery did not break 100GWh, but it was also high at 93.9GWh. The total output of lithium iron phosphate battery was 125.4GWh, accounting for 57.1%, with a year-on-year increase of 262.9%. The situation that lithium iron phosphate pressed over the ternary battery is very clear.

An overview of market specifications

Demand for power batteries

In December alone, the demand for plug-in hybrid passenger vehicles was 1.82GWh, pure electric commercial vehicles 4.43GWh (pure electric buses 2.04GWh and pure electric trucks 2.39GWh), and pure electric passenger vehicles were far ahead at 19.86GWh.

From the whole year of 2021, pure electric passenger vehicles use 121.73GWh battery, accounting for 78.7%, while the annual demand of pure electric buses, pure electric special vehicles and plug-in hybrid passenger vehicles respectively is 10-12GWh, so it can be said that the power battery field is highly concentrated in the passenger car market.

It shows that last year’s demand growth was mainly concentrated in c-end new energy vehicles. The C-end market is many times the size of the B-end market. With the further improvement of penetration rate, the gap between 2C and 2B will continue to widen.

Power battery manufacturers

As suppliers gather further, there will be only 58 power battery companies in China by the end of 2021.

In December 2021, the market shares of the top 3, top 5 and top 10 power battery companies were 75.8%, 84.5% and 93.4%, respectively. From the annual point of view, the top 3, top 5 and top 10 power battery enterprises have power battery loading capacity of 114.6GWh, 128.9GWh and 142.5GWh respectively, with market shares of 74.2%, 83.4% and 92.3%.

But look at the chart below for a better picture: CATL has more than 52% of the market, BYD has 16%, and CALB has 6%. The cumulative effect of the market is still very thorough and obvious.

The infiltration of lithium iron phosphate

In December, a total of 11.1GWh of ternary batteries were loaded, with a year-on-year growth of 84.7%. A total of 15.1GWh of lithium iron phosphate batteries were loaded, with a year-on-year growth of 118.5%. The installed capacity of lithium iron phosphate is rapidly over three.

Below is the breakdown by vehicle type match. Looking at the vehicles delivered in December, Tesla, BYD and Wuling have very rapid iron lithium conversion (over 75%), followed by Changan and Euler (over 40%). While most other automotive enterprises are still in the planning stage, mainly limited by the capacity of lithium iron phosphate and vehicle switching speed.

Tesla is the fastest in terms of speed and ratio for lithium iron phosphate, as shown below, which accounts for the vast majority of new cars built.

Based on estimates of nearly 60,000 units, Tesla uses 3.6GWh of iron lithium batteries. However, Nio uses the latest lithium iron phosphate and ternary composite technology, and the 75kWh ternary composite battery probably accounts for more than half of the whole Nio. At present, Xiaopeng has not been able to get enough production capacity of lithium iron phosphate effectively, so most of the work is focused on ternary batteries. ZLeapmotor use a lot of iron lithium cell in T03, so the speed of iron lithium is relatively fast.

The evolution of technology and the pattern of requirements

To get a good idea of what technology will look like in 2022, you need to compare lithium iron phosphate with ternary battery systems.

According to the data, the energy density of the current lithium iron phosphate battery system is mostly below 140Wh/kg, and there is still some gap between the energy density and the ternary battery.

That is to say, the whole pack energy density gap between lithium iron phosphate and ternary batteries does exist. Some ternary batteries already have energy densities of more than 200Wh/kg, moving on to higher numbers. Energy density was important in an era when subsidies were important, but subsidies are starting to fade into the long term. 

In December 2021, lithium iron phosphate battery systems will support a range of 600 kilometers for pure electric vehicles.

Ternary battery systems do offer some advantages in terms of energy density, but the biggest problem is the overall disadvantage. A pure electric vehicle armed with three batteries can reach a range of 700 kilometers, but it basically relies on a battery of about 100kWh. Under the condition of no subsidy within 20kwh, compared with iron lithium, the cost is very uncomfortable. Ternary batteries are more dense around 300 km, 400 km, 500 km and 600 km products.

In terms of PK of core parameters, lithium iron phosphate currently dominates in terms of safety and cost, supporting the range of electric vehicles to meet the needs of consumers. As the cost pressure intensifies in 2022, automotive companies need to switch to lithium iron phosphate on a large scale in order to effectively cope with the cost problem.

Future technological changes

Possible technological changes to be seen in 2022 include:

1) Ternary high-end battery, the first generation of quick charge battery based on 2C is launched, which is the first differentiation of high-end in 2022

2) The fast charging speed of iron lithium is also improving. According to the current situation, 2C lithium iron phosphate batteries will be gradually promoted in 2022

3) In 2022, the second-tier battery companies that previously developed around ternary will start to launch their own lithium iron phosphate products.

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