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[SMM analysis] Sanyuan is no longer fragrant? Whether Lithium Iron Phosphate will usher in the second Spring demand for Nickel Sulfate or be hit
May 19,2020 22:22CST
The content below was translated by Tencent automatically for reference.

SMM5 March 19: may 15, according to relevant reports, Tesla (Shanghai) Model 3, which uses lithium iron phosphate battery, was officially declared in the 333rd batch of new cars declared by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. However, after inquiring on the official website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, it was found that the declaration catalogue had been deleted and it was not sure whether the information would be changed. As early as February, it was reported that Tesla had discussed with the Ningde era the use of "cobalt-free" batteries in electric vehicles in its Shanghai super factory, and the industry had been speculating that the so-called "cobalt-free" batteries were lithium iron phosphate batteries.

For a long time, who is the better lithium iron phosphate battery than the ternary lithium battery is the soul question that every new energy car company will face. Once upon a time, lithium iron phosphate was on a par with ternary lithium battery. In 2015, lithium iron phosphate accounted for 58% of vehicles and 41% of lithium iron phosphate. But now, ternary lithium battery accounts for more than 70% of the power battery market. Lithium iron phosphate is forced into a corner.

However, with the decline of the national new energy subsidy policy, vehicle manufacturers are facing great pressure to reduce costs. At the same time, the energy density and charging shortcomings of lithium iron phosphate battery are also improved with the development of technology. Although ternary battery is still the main trump card of power battery today, there has been a lot of sound of lithium iron phosphate in the market recently.

On February 18, a news spread quickly that Tesla would use the Ningde era "cobalt-free battery". With the popularity of ternary lithium batteries, lithium iron phosphate batteries have returned to hot spots. Recently, the Ningde era also threw a "cobalt-free" signal to the market at the 2019 performance online presentation meeting held by the Ningde era. Some investors asked whether Ningde era had its own "cobalt-free" battery technology reserves in addition to lithium iron phosphate. Zeng Yuqun replied: "the company has its own 'cobalt-free' battery technology reserve, research and development is progressing smoothly, is looking for ways to improve the supply chain, because it is a new and subversive product."

Battery giant BYD also handed over an answer on "blade batteries". Blade battery will not only change the dependence of the industry on ternary lithium battery, but also promote the technology of power battery to a safer field. BYD "blade battery" through structural innovation, can skip the "module" in the group, greatly improve the volume utilization, and finally achieve the design goal of installing more cells in the same space. Compared with the traditional modular battery pack, the volume utilization of the blade battery has been increased by more than 50%, and the range has reached the same level as the high-energy ternary lithium battery.

Ternary power batteries, as the first downstream of nickel sulfate, are now facing competition from lithium iron phosphate batteries and various cobalt-free batteries. At the same time, the future competition for power batteries is not limited to ternary lithium batteries and lithium iron phosphate batteries. Although there is still a long way to go for the commercialization of batteries such as graphene and hydrogen fuel, these new technologies and materials emerge one after another and will continue to change the existing pattern of batteries. If the proportion of ternary power batteries is reduced, it will also hit the demand for nickel sulfate.

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