In Post Subsidy Era, How Will EV Battery Makers Survive?

When subsidies vanish, what happens?

In 2018, the Chinese market saw a decrease of 2.76% in new vehicle sales volumes. Many market segments recognized similar rates of decline. Under the general recession, the Chinese NEV (New Energy Vehicle) market is the only one to emerge and rise out of the situation to achieve a 61.74% growth. The total sales volume reached 1,256,200. There is no doubt that the demand for batteries will increase as the NEV market continues to expand. However, not all battery companies are capable of achieving the rapid growth. As the subsidies decrease, the NEV market has to switch from being policy orientated to being market focused, while OEMs must work with battery companies to launch products that have long cycle life, low cost, and high safety. Therefore, the cost pressure to both OEMs and to battery suppliers will gradually increase. Meanwhile, companies that have strong technical capabilities and clear marketing strategies will be able to capture the opportunities.

As one of the main battery suppliers, Wanxiang A123 can provide over 35 million batteries that can satisfy customers’ 7GWh battery capacity requirement. Compared to 2017, this capacity is a significant increase. For the challenges that 2019 will bring, Peter W. Cirino, the General Manager of Wanxiang A123, has every confidence. Wanxiang A123 will continue to develop the cost structure, improve efficiency, increase input in research and development, and accelerate innovation in order to provide high-capacity, cost-competitive, and technically advanced products for our customers. Based on these factors, Wanxiang A123 expects to achieve more than 50% growth in 2019.

Wanxiang A123, Wanxiang Group batter, Chinese power battery supplier

Hard Core Technology and a Full Product Portfolio Lay a Solid Competitive Foundation

Market demand presents the opportunity to diversity as the NEV market expands. Therefore, diversifying technologies has become a company’s best option. Wanxiang A123 has developed a full portfolio of products with varying applications. The products cover high voltage passenger vehicles, low voltage passenger vehicles, and the commercial vehicle market. Wanxiang A123 focuses on the developments of cells, modules and systems, and plays an important role in 12V starter batteries, 48V mild-hybrid lithium-ion batteries, and high capacity NMC batteries.

Wanxiang A123, Wanxiang Group batter, Chinese power battery supplier

In recent years, the international emission standards have gotten harsher, while the Chinese government has launched the NEV & CAFC credit policies. New energy subsidies are gradually decreasing and will be eventually cancelled. Finding the best solution must take into account the policies, energy efficiency, and cost, and thus the 48V mild-hybrid solution is gradually becoming the choice of many companies to research and develop.

In fact, Wanxiang A123 began to concentrate on the development of 48V products from as early as 2013 and had a gross investment of $224 million in the development of 48V Mild-Hybrid Battery System. The system adopts the proprietary technology of UltraPhosphate™ and allows the power density of the battery cells to reach 5900W/kg resulting in a systems level power density that exceeds 2000W/kg. The 48V system has long cycle life and high safety. The project team has developed a natural cooling design and produces the battery in a smaller size to make it easier for vehicle integration. Wanxiang A123’s 48V products lead the industry with large scale production both inside and even outside of China. It successfully integrates into cars of 13 mainstream OEMs all over the world, the global market share of which ranks number one. Benefitting from years of technical advancements and leading the industry in LFP technology, Wanxiang A123’s 48V battery system was successfully implemented into Geely’s newly launched NEV, the Borui GE MHEV, and allows the vehicle to achieve 15% fuel savings. This helps Geely successfully step into the mild-hybrid vehicle market.In 2018, Wanxiang A123’s 48V battery was honored with the “Automotive News 2018 PACE Award” which honors superior innovation and technological advancement in America. Wanxiang A123 owns the most diverse 48V battery portfolio, two of which has been applied in P0 Architecture. Furthermore, it is known that the company has developed its second generation product, which has higher power and more capacity. The product’s ultra-high performance makes it easy to integrate other functions of the electrical system into the 48V system so much so that it has received orders from international luxury car brands.

Wanxiang A123 not only occupies the global leading position in the field of 48V products, but also has made advancements in NMC products and continues to invest in further research. According to Mr. Cirino, Wanxiang A123 has never stopped investing in the development of the high energy products. The company first applied NMC technology into cell production for passenger cars in 2013. Over One-hundred-thousand cars with NMC cells are on the road today and set a record of zero safety accidents. In 2018, Wanxiang A123 ranks NO. 3 in terms of cell pack applications and has been awarded a new project for high energy products whose value exceed $1 billion. In order to accelerate the development of high energy density & high power products, the company invested another $208 million on R&D, expecting to develop a list of ten high capacity battery products and establish 5 laboratories to achieve a technical advantage worldwide.

In the early 2018, Wanxiang A123’s 52Ah VDA cell was successfully launched. The product features high power density (approximately 260Wh/kg), high power (power at room temperature output power density of each 10 seconds reaches 1500W/kg), long cycle life (life is estimated at 1500 cycles at high temperature), and high safety  (pass multiple tests required by GBT-31485-2015, and USABC nail penetration test and reach the EUCAR3 Standards). According to the news shared by Mr. Cirino, Wanxiang A123 will launch the NMC811 high energy product in 2020. By partnering with Argonne National Laboratory and improving upon materials, Wanxiang A123 was able to develop multiple levels of battery safety that fundamentally solves the previous safety problem. What’s more, Wanxiang A123 has its specialized R&D team continuing their research on the materials, and constantly breaking through technical barriers in high energy anodes and nickel rich cathodes to achieve the highest driving range in the vehicle market.

For the next generation of battery technology, Wanxiang A123 has developed a plan ahead of the game. Peter W. Cirino believes that as the NEV market has an increasing requirement for safety and range, solid-state batteries will be adopted into the industry. Therefore, Wanxiang A123 has adopted the strategy of inhouse R&D and outside investment. It not only invested a solid-state battery company, Solid Power (BMW later also partnered with the company, jointly developing solid-state batteries), but also invested in a material company who focuses on solid state materials called Ionic MaterialsWanxiang A123 will introduce solid-state battery samples with high performance in terms of power density and life cycle by the end of 2019. Wanxiang A123 plans to launch world-leading products in the next decade.

Strategic Layout: Synergy between Localization and Globalization to Promote Sustainable Development

In early 1999, the holding company of Wanxiang A123, Wanxiang Group started to invest clean energy, developing the battery industry and electric vehicle industry. Three years later, Wanxiang Electric Vehicle Limited Company was formed. Wanxiang officially became a new power in the vehicle market, and subsequently invested approximately $1.5 billion into the independent development of clean energy through mergers and acquisitions. Purchasing A123 was the most important action taken.

A123 brings Wanxiang Group the global leading LFP technology and the quality systems that conform to stringent international standards. Its mature experiences of pack assembly and sales channels in the western market also bring advantages for Wanxiang Group’s international footprint. A123 was founded out of MIT in 2001. The same year, it established its R&D center at Massachusetts, USA, and maintains an important connection and collaboration with MIT and Argonne National Laboratory for many years.In 2009, A123 established its manufacturing facility at Michigan, USA, providing assembled packs for GM and Chrysler. In 2010, A123 set up the R&D center in Stuttgart, Germany to serve many European customers the long term. In 2012, Wanxiang Group acquired A123. In 2016, Wanxiang A123 established a manufacturing facility in Ostrava, Czech Republic for conveniently serving the European market that has increasing demands. Customers include Porsche, Jaguar Land Rover, etc. Currently, the European market is Wanxiang A123’s largest growth region outside of the Chinese market. Mr. Cirino revealed that 70% of Wanxiang A123’s business now comes from China while the other 30% comes from the European market, which contributes to its rapid growth.

From the perspective of research and development, Wanxiang A123 adopts the strategy of “Simultaneous Development”, and has set up an R&D Center in Hangzhou (headquarters in China), Massachusetts (USA), and Europe. The centers maintain quality talent in locations that closely serve customers and Wanxiang A123 to “customize strategies according to demands of an ever changing market”. Wanxiang A123 covers all businesses worldwide, from the development process to manufacturing and delivery, and rigorously enforces IATF 16949.

From the perspective of Wanxiang A123, Wanxiang Group not only injects vitality to A123, but also introduces CDB Fund and ICBC Fund to hold equity stocks. It lays a solid financial foundation for Wanxiang A123’s development. From the marketing level, Wanxiang Group, as one of the representing companies of the Chinese component manufacturer, has leading products that occupy more than 65% of market share and extensive experiences in the local market and sales channel, and provides an advantageous situation for Wanxiang A123 to open up the Chinese market. Currently, Wanxiang A123’s products have been successfully adopted into vehicles of local OEMs such as SAIC GM, GAC, Chery, Geely, Changan, JAC, etc.

Mr. Cirino concludes that “First of all, the integration of two battery companies creates advantages in developing the NMC and LFP technologies and helps the company expand in size and distribution both in China and in the overseas markets to better serve global customers and achieve the goal of becoming an international leader. Secondly, Wanxiang Group has been doing business in China for half a century and has possessed a strong brand influence to attract talents and customers, which is a solid foundation. Most importantly, Wanxiang has a great performance in finance and provides financial support for Wanxiang A123’s development, leading Wanxiang A123 to achieve financial growth. After joining the Wanxiang Group, A123 is able to work closely with Wanxiang’s other subsidiaries to create greater value for our customers.”

Wanxiang A123, Wanxiang Group batter, Chinese power battery supplier

In order to pool resources and maximize the synergies, Wanxiang Group launches Wanxiang Innovation Energy City that has over $30 billion gross investment. The project will include 12 key construction segments including lithium-ion power battery, new energy vehicle, smart city, CBD community and so on to achieve the integration of “Tangible + Digital”. In the first phase of construction, $10 billion will be invested to build a Lithium-ion Battery Base that will have 80GWh of battery manufacturing capacity (one of the largest lithium-ion battery manufacturing bases of the industry), an Advanced NEV Manufacturing Facility, and an International Battery Innovation Center. Besides, the Wanxiang Innovation Energy City will have a battery recycling base and an energy storage facility that uses batteries to store solar energy. All in all, the Innovation Energy Stored City will support the whole industry chain and will cover products’ complete cycle life from R&D and manufacturing to client-side application and recycling. Mr. Cirino said, “Innovation Energy City is an exciting project. We will begin to install equipment in 2019 and our capacity will reach 20GWh in 2020. We hope it will be the future of both battery innovation and safe battery manufacturing”.

According to the forecast of some research institutes, global sales of EVs will be approximately 2.6 million in 2019 and will have 40% growth compared to 2018. Chinese NEV sales volume will reach 1.5 million, while the sales volume in European markets will be near a half million. In the words of Mr. Cirino, “2019 will be an exciting year. This confidence is supported by our technical strength and our leading global strategy. Let’s look forward to a bright future!”($1 = 6.69 yuan)

Source: Gasgoo


Source: Electric Vehicle News

DOE launches ReCell Center to improve battery recycling

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has launched a lithium-ion battery recycling center, the ReCell Center, at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. The ReCell Center’s goal is to develop profitable methods to dramatically improve battery recycling rates. DOE is funding the ReCell Center with $15 million over three years.

The ReCell Center will have four key focus areas: the development of direct cathode recycling, in which products can go directly into new batteries without reprocessing; the development of technologies to recycle additional battery materials, creating additional revenue streams; the development of new battery designs, optimized for easy recycling; and the development of modeling and analysis tools, to direct and validate the center’s research.

The ReCell Center will serve as a collaboration space for researchers from industry, academia, and other government laboratories. Collaborators include Argonne, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Worcester Polytechnic Institute, University of California at San Diego, Michigan Technological University, and industry representatives including battery manufacturers, automotive OEMs, recycling centers, battery lifecycle management services, and material suppliers.

“The ReCell Center will help expedite the pursuit to profitable lithium-ion battery recycling,” said Jeff Spangenberger, Director of the ReCell Center. “It combines the nation’s leading experts and research tools from academia, industry and government laboratories to solve science challenges that have prevented the U.S. from reaping the economic, environmental and security benefits that come with having a large commercial U.S.-based lithium-ion recycling market.”


 

Source: Argonne National Laboratory


Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine

Tesla carrier spotted transporting a camouflaged pickup truck, sparks speculation

A Tesla carrier was spotted with a truckload of Tesla vehicles, which is nothing out of the ordinary, aside from the fact that one of the vehicles was a camouflaged pickup truck – sparking speculation about Tesla’s upcoming electric pickup. more…

The post Tesla carrier spotted transporting a camouflaged pickup truck, sparks speculation appeared first on Electrek.


Source: Charge Forward

Tesla launches new Supercharger with 1,000 mph charging, better efficiency, and more

In Fremont today, Tesla is launching the next generation Supercharger V3 with higher charging capacity (250 kW), better efficiency, and more.

Some of the most important points:

  • 250 kW peak power without powershare between stations
  • Just for Model 3 vehicles after software update for now
  • Model S and Model X to follow later – again through software
  • First non-beta stations coming in Q2
    more…

The post Tesla launches new Supercharger with 1,000 mph charging, better efficiency, and more appeared first on Electrek.


Source: Charge Forward

ubitricity raises €20 million in Series C funding

EV charging provider ubitricity has raised €20 million in Series C funding to expand its mobile metering technology for EV charging. A new shareholder, automaker Honda, joined existing shareholders EDF and Next47 in the investment.

The funding will be used to accelerate the deployment of ubitricity’s charge points, including retrofitted lamp posts and real-estate installations, across the UK, Germany, France and the US. Nidec says its mobile metering technology reduces charging infrastructure costs and removes the need for dedicated parking bays.

“We are now putting charging stations right outside people’s front doors, where millions of Europeans park their vehicles today, and at a time when more electric vehicles than ever are being sold,” said Knut Hechtfischer, co-founder of ubitricity.

 

Source: ubitricty


Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine

Tesla updates self-driving language, creates confusion and walks back features

Today, Tesla updated its language regarding Autopilot and self-driving capability on its website – walking back some previously announced features and further confusing some owners. more…

The post Tesla updates self-driving language, creates confusion and walks back features appeared first on Electrek.


Source: Charge Forward

Audi E-Tron Sportback, E-Tron GT Stun In Geneva: Live Photos, Videos

With all of those BEVs, the future of Audi looks electrifying

The Audi Q4 e-tron Concept was not the only all-electric Audi in Geneva, as the German manufacturer is readying two more models for market launch in the near future. The two others were prototype versions of the Audi e-tron Sportback and Audi e-tron GT concept.

The fifth Audi BEV scheduled for production – the Audi Q2 L e-tron – will be unveiled soon in China, for which it’s envisioned.

The Audi e-tron Sportback is a direct derivative of the Audi e-tron (SUV) and is scheduled for production by the end of this year. The specs aren’t yet known, but we assume it will be the same as in case of e-tron, because both models are based on the same platform.

Let’s check out the photos and a walkthrough of the coupe SUV version:

Audi e-tron Sportback

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Audi e-tron GT concept

The e-tron GT concept, unveiled at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, also attracted a lot of attention. This model could be a reasonable choice for those who can’t afford the Porsche Taycan, as both shares a lot of tech.

Audi e-tron GT concept:

  • more than 90 kWh battery
  • over 400 km (248.5 miles) of range (WLTP)
  • dual motor (PMSM) all-wheel drive with torque vectoring
  • system output: 434 kW (590 hp)
  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in about 3.5 seconds
  • 0-200 km/h (124 mph) in over 12 seconds
  • top speed of 240 km/h (149 mph)
  • 800 V battery system voltage
  • fast charging: 0-80% in 20-minutes
  • wireless charging at 11 kW (on-board charger is at least 11 kW)
  • 450 liters of luggage capacity plus extra 100 liters under the hood
  • 4.96-meter length, 1.96-meter width and 1.38-meter height
Audi e-tron GT concept

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Audi e-tron GT concept
Audi e-tron GT concept
Audi e-tron Sportback prototype and Audi e-tron GT concept
Audi e-tron Sportback prototype and Audi e-tron GT concept

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Source: Electric Vehicle News

Klaric releases high voltage measurement module for EVs

Klaric, a provider of measurement and inspection technology, has announced the KLARI-QUAD2 measurement module for EVs and hybrids. The KLARI-QUAD2 provides galvanic isolation of 1,500 volts DC to enable current, voltage, and temperature measurements in EVs.

The KLARI-QUAD2 includes an Auto-Range function to automatically use the best input range for a measured signal. It can also automatically switch the sampling rate when a threshold is exceeded or undershot. The KLARI-QUAD2 includes functions for calculating the average, moving average, RMS, frequency, power, and work of AC and DC signals.

Klaric’s HVI/U-COMBI-PROBE allows for current and voltage to be measured simultaneously on a single input. The KLARI-QUAD2 recognizes when a Klaric probe is plugged in and reads out the probe type and calibration values.

 

Source: Klaric


Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine

Audi Q4 E-Tron Electric CUV Sparkles In Geneva (Photos/Videos)

The Audi Q4 e-tron concept impresses the crowd.

The new Audi Q4 e-tron concept steals the hearts of many electric car enthusiasts in Geneva who are looking for a premium compact crossover/SUV. The great news about this car is production within two years – in 2020/2021.

If Audi will retain the interior of the concept, 82 kWh battery for long-range and achieve a reasonable cost reduction through the use of VW’s MEB platform, then sales of this particular model should skyrocket.

Here we gather the best photos and videos from the Geneva Motor Show, including a very detailed walkthrough by Autogefuel.

Audi Q4 e-tron concept specs:

  • 82 kWh battery (battery system weights 510 kg)
  • over 450 km (280 miles) of WLTP range
  • system output: 225 kW – 150 kW and 310 Nm rear electric motor (a permanently excited synchronous motor) and 75 kW and 150 Nm front electric motor (asynchronous motor)
  • all-wheel drive
  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.3 seconds
  • top speed of 180 km/h (112 mph)
  • DC fast charging to 80% in around 30 minutes (up to 125 kW)
  • 4.59 meters long, 1.90 meters wide, 1.61 meters tall,
  • wheelbase of 2.77 meters
  • based on VW’s MEB platform
Audi Q4 e-tron concept

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Audi Q4 e-tron concept
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Videos from the show

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Audi Press Conference at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show

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Source: Electric Vehicle News

Tesla Has Already Produced 550 Standard Model 3

Hundreds of base Model 3 already were produced

Tesla Model 3 Standard (the base battery pack option) is not only available for order but reportedly, the first batch of more than 500 were already produced.

According to Electrek’s sources, some 550 Model 3 Standard are ready to ship. It’s more than one would anticipate in the initial stage, which suggests that Tesla is already ready for volume production of the Standard version.

An interesting note is that the vehicles are internally signed as “Model 3 50”, which could mean a 50 kWh battery?

Now, we are waiting for the first customer deliveries, which probably will result in lots of new reviews – very important reviews for the masses of potential customers, that were unlocked by this new, more affordable version.

The Standard Model 3 starts at just $35,000, which we consider to be a bargain. However, for just a bit more money, there might be a better Model 3 option for you.

Source: Electrek


Source: Electric Vehicle News