Battery and equipment manufacturers are exploring and innovating with new technological adaptations that are lowering prices, making batteries safer, improving density and storage, and utilizing new materials.
The latest Global Li-ion Battery and Manufacturing Equipment Market Tracker for Q2 2023 shows there are huge changes taking place within the sector, as Asian suppliers are expanding into the US and Europe, and cooperating with overseas companies to increase production capacity.
We collected almost 150 news stories over the last three months and summarized them into five major topics, each of which is covered in more detail in this insight:
- Solid battery technology and energy density
- Asian suppliers are expanding overseas
- Battery companies are actively exploring new materials solutions
- Innovations related to battery management systems (Safety Management)
- Continuous market dynamics of energy storage battery
According to our Quarterly Tracker, which collects and collates trends from major battery suppliers and equipment manufacturers around the world, energy storage systems are continuing to prove successful as countries work towards their carbon neutrality goals.
1. Solid battery technology and energy density
Major battery manufacturers have been continuously researching and experimenting with solid-state batteries to further enhance aspects such as energy density, safety performance and charging speed, with several companies making significant progress.
- Solid-state battery technology refers to the use of solid materials such as electrolytes and electrodes in a battery, replacing the liquid or gel electrolytes found in traditional lithium-ion batteries. This technology offers several advantages, including higher energy density and endurance, improved safety, and longer lifespan. Both Samsung SDI and LGES have announced plans to launch solid-state battery products in the coming years.
- Semi-solid-state batteries can store more energy within a smaller volume compared with traditional liquid-state batteries, due to the electrolytes being in a semi-solid form.
- This year, more vendors have focused on increasing battery energy density and improving charging speed. CATL is launching its ultra-high energy ‘Condensed Battery’, with the single-cell energy density of 500Wh/kg.
2. Asian suppliers are expanding overseas
- Continuing the trend seen in 2022, battery manufacturers are expanding into overseas markets. The overseas expansion of Chinese and Korean companies is mostly based on demand from European and American vehicle manufacturers for short supply chains and lower costs through local production.
- Chinese Li-ion battery equipment suppliers such as Yinhe Technology, Hangke Technology and Lyric are all collaborating with domestic battery enterprises overseas in order to meet demand for increased production capacity.
3. Battery companies are actively exploring new materials solutions
Due to limited lithium resources, mainly concentrated in South America and Australia, most battery manufacturers rely on imports. The increasing price of lithium has led to fierce competition among battery companies, as they invest in lithium resource companies to secure mining rights. In comparison to lithium, there are abundant sodium reserves and, therefore, sodium batteries have a significant cost advantage, with total costs 30-40% lower than lithium batteries.
In recent years, several battery manufacturers have started researching and developing sodium-ion batteries. The pace of mass production of sodium-ion batteries has been gradually accelerating, especially among industry leaders. In terms of battery manufacturers, both CATL and BYD intend to use sodium-ion batteries (a hybrid of sodium-ion and lithium-ion batteries) in series-produced EVs before the end of this year. With regards to equipment vendors, Shanghai SK and Zoolnasm have entered into a Strategic Partnership Agreement to develop sodium-ion battery system integration equipment.
4. Innovations related to battery management systems (Safety Management)
The future development goals of batteries are high energy density, high safety, long lifespan and low cost. Currently in the early stages of high-performance and high-safety batteries such as solid-state batteries and sodium-ion batteries, battery manufacturers are largely focused on innovating battery structures and processes to improve the safety of batteries. For example, Farasis Energy has optimized the design of its battery modules to prevent thermal runaway in the event of damage to its cells.
5. Continuous market dynamics of energy storage battery
In recent years, many regions and countries have set carbon neutrality targets. The United States and the European Union aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, while China has set its target for 2060. To accomplish their goals, these countries have implemented a series of measures, including increasing the share of renewable energy, improving energy efficiency, promoting electric transportation, and enhancing the research and application of carbon capture and storage technologies.
- The current energy storage battery industry, dominated by lithium batteries, is experiencing explosive growth and market competition is further intensifying. The emergence of new energy storage technologies is driving the development of the energy storage industry. CATL is launching new energy storage technology – a zero auxiliary source photovoltaic energy storage integration solution. Furthermore, an increasing number of companies are releasing large-scale energy storage batteries.
- Additionally, international cooperation projects and cross-border energy exchanges are increasing. The energy storage industry has also become a key area of collaboration among countries and enterprises, jointly driving technological advancements.
In conclusion, the explosion of production capacity and the equipment market came earlier and faster than anticipated. The global market is still undergoing rapid development and change, and we will continue to track it.
For more information on the battery manufacturing equipment market, contact Maya Xiao, Research Manager at Interact Analysis.
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