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Soft bag battery market: the volume is small, but the undercurrent is surging.
Sep 25,2020 16:22CST
translation
The content below was translated by Tencent automatically for reference.

SMM News: high energy density, good safety performance, low internal resistance, and flexible size, these excellent characteristics have always been regarded as the dependence of soft bag batteries to achieve "counterattack" in the three power battery forms in the future, especially with the decline of China's new energy vehicle financial subsidies year by year, new energy passenger vehicles will become the main force in the development of new energy vehicles in our country. The soft-pack battery with the above four advantages can be said to be tailor-made for new energy passenger cars.

In fact, the soft-package battery, which was once highly expected, is also one of the key areas of battery production enterprises in China since 2019. According to incomplete statistics, the investment focus of domestic battery manufacturing enterprises in 2019 is mainly in the field of soft battery, such as Yiwei concentrated Energy, Vision AESC, Weifeng Power, Wanxiang 123, far East Battery (Jiangsu), Levineng and other enterprises have soft package battery projects put into construction or production in 2019.

The soft bag battery is still "weak", but some phenomena are worth paying attention to.

But the numbers are a little cold. According to the data of Power Battery Application Branch, from January to August this year, the installed capacity of soft pack battery in China is only 1.53 GWH, which is different from the 21.08GWh of square battery, and it also lags behind the 4.98GWh of cylindrical battery obviously. Soft-pack batteries account for only 5.5% of the power batteries installed in new energy vehicles, which is really unbearable.

"before 2019, the financial subsidy for new energy vehicles was energy density-oriented, and soft-bag batteries had advantages in energy density. At that time, in order to get higher subsidies, the industry was very enthusiastic about choosing the layout of soft-package," said an industry analyst. The subsidy slumped sharply in 2019, and did not raise the energy density threshold of the subsidy, "while the manufacturing cost of soft-bag battery is relatively higher. At that time, the square shell route of large-capacity cell occupied the absolute advantage in China. "

As a matter of fact, in the current TOP10 camp of power battery installation in the Chinese market, Ningde Times, BYD, Guoxuan Tech, Lishen Battery, Yiwei Lithium Energy, AVIC Lithium Power, and time SAIC are also mainly producing square batteries, while only Funeng Technology and LG Chemistry (currently LG Chemistry supplies Tesla with cylindrical batteries) are mainly soft bag batteries. Therefore, the overall installed capacity of the soft package battery is also easily affected by the changes in the installation of the main enterprises of the soft package.

From January to August this year, Funeng Technology, which ranks first in the installed capacity of soft-pack batteries in the Chinese market, has 258.41MWh.In contrast, the installed capacity of square batteries ranks first in the Ningde era, and the installed capacity of square batteries from January to August this year is as high as 12950.48MWh.

Although the overall size of the soft package is small, there are some phenomena that deserve our attention.

First, as a square battery field, NO.1, Ningde era also began to make efforts in the field of soft package batteries. In the first eight months of this year, its installed capacity of soft-package batteries has risen to No. 3 in the Chinese market, and ranked first in both June and July.

Second, there has been a substantial increase in the installed capacity of lithium-energy soft-pack batteries in Yiwei. It is understood that at present, the matching batteries of Yiwei lithium energy in the field of new energy vehicles are mainly square batteries and soft-pack batteries. Among them, square batteries are mainly equipped with new energy buses and special-purpose vehicles, while for new energy passenger cars, Yiwei lithium energy mainly provides soft-package batteries. Yiwei Lithium Energy has a subsidiary specializing in the production of soft package batteries-Yiwei concentrated Energy. It is reported that Yiwei Ji can have a 9GWh soft package power battery project. The first phase of 3GWh has been completed and put into production; the second phase of capacity design 6GWH, is expected to be put into production in the near future.

Third, LG Chemical has begun to supply soft package batteries in bulk in the Chinese market, and the installed capacity has entered the soft package TOP10. LG Chemical, which has the largest installed capacity of soft package batteries in the world, has always coveted the Chinese market. In 2018, LG Chemical invested US $2 billion in Nanjing, China, to build 32GWh power battery capacity, mainly soft-package power batteries. It is understood that the first factory of LG Chemical in Nanjing has achieved mass production in November 2019. In terms of installed capacity, LG chemical soft-pack batteries were already supplied to General Motors in China in the first eight months of this year.

From the editor's point of view, although the overall installed capacity of soft-pack batteries in the Chinese market is still small, the actions of leading enterprises such as Ningde Times, Yiwei LiNeng, Guoxuan Hi-Tech and LG Chemistry in the field of soft bags are also worthy of attention. At the same time, Funeng Technology, a leading soft package company in the Chinese market for many years, has landed on the Kechuang board, and its Zhenjiang total 24GWh soft bag battery project has started construction, the outbreak of the Chinese market soft package may not take much time.

International mainstream car companies "throw their arms" to soft package enterprises.

Unlike the negligible installed capacity of soft-pack batteries in the Chinese market, some other markets around the world pay very high attention to soft bags, which come from the olive branches of mainstream international car companies.

In May this year, Volkswagen bought a stake in Guoxuan Hi-Tech and became the largest shareholder of Guoxuan Hi-Tech. According to informed sources, the batteries that Guoxuan Hi-Tech will provide to Volkswagen in the future will be soft-pack ternary batteries. As one of the preparatory actions, in July this year, Guoxuan Hi-Tech launched a project with an annual output of 30000 tons of high-nickel ternary cathode materials, which will be used in the production of ternary soft-pack batteries.

In July this year, domestic soft package leader Funeng Technology listed in Science and Technology Innovation Board, of which Daimler invested 905 million yuan and held a 3% stake. Some analysts believe that Daimler's stake in Funeng Technology is intended to consolidate its soft-pack battery supply.

In the same July, the person in charge of Wanxiang 123 revealed: "the company has been designated (Volkswagen) since April this year, and Q4 will begin to supply Volkswagen in 2021." It is worth noting that Wanxiang 123 is an enterprise that mainly produces soft-package batteries, and Volkswagen's order of more than 10 billion yuan is also invested in soft-package batteries.

In August, Daimler announced a cooperation agreement with Ningde Times, in which the two sides will conduct in-depth cooperation in power battery technology, according to people familiar with the matter. Ningde Times will produce soft-bag batteries for Daimler in the future, according to a person familiar with the matter.

It is worth noting that Daimler mentioned a sentence in its cooperation with Ningde era and Funeng Technology: both sides have set clear research and development goals to significantly increase battery mileage and reduce charging time by increasing battery energy density. "the advantage of soft-bag batteries in energy density is one of the main reasons why Daimler chooses such companies."

Volkswagen, Daimler and other international auto giants have embraced the soft pack battery manufacturers one after another. On the one hand, driven by the demonstration of international mainstream car companies, more car companies may choose flexible bag battery matching models in the future. On the other hand, with the running-in and endorsement of international auto giants, it will also quickly improve the level and strength of domestic battery enterprises' soft bag battery manufacturing, and then enhance the competitiveness of soft bags in the whole market.

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