Price rises tide second half, the car enterprise opens energy scramble


Enter 2022, all the way soaring oil prices, so that car owners broke the big defense.Just when the “broken 9” oil prices hurt the heart of the car owners to look at pure electric cars, but found that all brands of trams have also increased prices.Among them, the price of tesla Model Y rear-drive standard continuation version has exceeded 300,000 mark, BYD, Eon and other domestic auto companies have also increased by several thousand yuan, even wuling, which is always famous for its cost-performance ratio, its 2022 MINIEV with the same configuration has increased by 2,000 yuan compared to 2021.Since the second half of 2021, and automakers are struggling in the lack of resources, the first is the chip supplies many car companies chose to postpone the delivery or late delivery first, then install components, but the shortage of parts to car companies in the end how much impact on the price, brand even like tesla carried out several rounds of price cuts.However, in 2022, in addition to the price increase caused by the withdrawal of subsidies, the price increase caused by the shortage of lithium and nickel resources leads to the rising price of automotive power battery, and then the terminal price of automobile companies can not bear the pressure and are forced to increase the price.However, in the face of changes in the supply of core components, in addition to being forced to raise prices, auto companies have also taken the initiative in this resource tug of war, and won a certain initiative.Where are the lithium resources gone?According to the economic operation data of the Automobile industry of China Association of Automobile Manufacturers in 2021, the output of new energy vehicles in 2021 is 3.545 million, compared with 1.366 million in 2021, an increase of 159.5%. From January to February this year, the output of new energy vehicles is 820 thousand, 2.59 times that of the same period last year.More than the total output of new energy vehicles from January to April last year, and nearly a quarter of last year’s total output.The rapid growth of demand in the downstream of the industrial chain is transmitted to the upstream, and it is difficult for resource suppliers to respond to the rapid expansion of production scale, which is bound to cause the shortage of raw materials and ultimately lead to the rise of resource prices.At present, the supply source of global lithium ore is mainly Australia lithium ore and South America Chile, Argentina and other countries, although China has the world’s third lithium ore reserves, but the ore quality and mining difficulty is high.Affected by the epidemic and transportation time, overseas lithium raw materials to meet soaring domestic industry development, the domestic lithium while have to speed up the mining, but mining is difficult and in the capacity for climbing, also unable to fill the gap in the short term, lithium resources or so years will continue to be in short supply, is expected in 2023, tight supply situation will ease.Nickel, an important element for lithium-ion batteries, is also in short supply.According to CCTV financial report, affected by the current local conflicts and the impact of the futures market, the nickel price has broken through $100,000 per ton, Morgan Stanley is expected to, the rapid rise of nickel prices, will lead to the cost of a new energy vehicle increased by about $1,000, equivalent to more than 6000 yuan.With the gradual easing of the futures market, nickel prices may moderate slightly in the foreseeable future, but they will still remain at a relatively high price, which will also affect the manufacturing costs and retail prices of end manufacturers.The development of new energy vehicle industry is similar to the smart phone industry to a certain extent.At the beginning, most manufacturers rely on suppliers to supply core components and grow together with the supply chain. Only a few enterprises are willing to build their own supply chain to realize the coordination of upstream and downstream resources.At present, the lithium battery industry is in a tight state of resource supply. The lithium mining enterprises in the upper part of the supply chain can still make profits by selling lithium resources, and the battery manufacturers in the middle part can also make use of the same supply of lithium resources as usual to sell batteries to oems.However, the downstream car companies with increasing battery demand are facing a series of problems such as insufficient supply and rising prices in this crisis.Therefore, some enterprises with a high degree of control over the supply chain and sufficient financial resources responded to the crisis and began to explore the upper and middle reaches of the industrial chain, and started from lithium resources to seize the opportunity to fight for resources.As a global leader in new energy vehicles, Tesla signed a contract with Ganfeng Lithium and its wholly-owned subsidiary Ganfeng International in November last year to supply Tesla with battery-grade lithium hydroxide products from 2022 to 2024.This is the second cooperation between Tesla and Ganfeng Lithium. Compared with the first cooperation, Tesla chose to purchase from Ganfeng Lithium and Ganfeng International by making battery suppliers this time, which may indicate that Ganfeng Lithium and Ganfeng International will directly supply Tesla.In addition, tesla has signed five-year contracts with Australian Lithium miner LiontownResources and Core Lithium for a total of 700,000 tonnes and 110,000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate, respectively, to supply tesla over the next few years.Tesla’s frequent search for lithium supplies comes as it has begun to move up the supply chain to produce lithium-ion batteries.Tesla has partnered with Panasonic to produce the 4680 cylindrical battery in California in 2021, and as of February 19 this year, the number of tesla 4680 batteries has exceeded one million, according to official social media.Compared with previous to the era of ningde, LG and other battery suppliers to buy 18650, tesla cooperate with panasonic sell battery can guarantee the stability of the battery supply to some extent and the battery current prices will cost control in reasonable level, and can when purchasing other battery suppliers to sell battery as chips have stronger bargaining power,Reduce the proportion of battery cost in the vehicle price to stabilize the vehicle price and profit as much as possible, which is conducive to the sustainable development of its business.When Tesla, a car company, is trying to develop battery business, BYD, which started with battery technology, is going one step further, starting from the link of lithium mining, laying out the scramble for lithium resources.In January, BYD became the first Chinese company to develop a lithium mine in Chile when it signed a lithium production quota of 80,000 tonnes, along with exploration rights for seven years and production rights for 20 years.The byd won Chile lithium mining, can stable to a certain extent, the passenger cars of their own blade lithium iron phosphate battery supply and outside for ternary lithium battery sales, in the increasingly “volume” of the independent brand new energy competition, not only can have stable supply of resources, can master certain discourse in the supply chain.The scramble for lithium resources in the Americas has become as important as the scramble for oil resources.In order to grab lithium resources, China’s various field giants have snapped up lithium resources around the world.Ganfeng Lithium and Tianqi Lithium, giants in the lithium industry, successively grabbed high-quality lithium resources in Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Quebec, Western Australia and other places through investment and equity and joint venture factories, and Tianqi lithium also owed a huge amount of debt.In addition to lithium, demand for cobalt and nickel, which are important components of power batteries, is increasingly tight.In 2019, lithium reserves stood at 17 million tons, nickel at 89 million tons, and cobalt at 7 million tons, a fraction of that figure.In terms of production capacity, cobalt is also mainly concentrated in Congo, Cuba and Australia, and the scarce capacity makes the giants scrambling to sign huge contracts with the giants.Tesla, for example, has a contract with cobalt giant Glencore to supply 6,000 tons of cobalt a year.At present, such looting is not limited to cobalt, lithium and other minerals. With the expansion of the industry scale, the looting of nickel, manganese, phosphorus, fluorine and other metal minerals will become increasingly fierce.Silicon Valley’s Tesla and Shenzhen’s BYD, two new energy car companies on the east and west coasts of the Pacific Ocean, have started a new round of competition for lithium battery resources.The new energy vehicle enterprises represented by these two big car enterprises, who can obtain more and better resources in the environment of resource shortage, will be able to tide over the difficulties more easily and occupy a broader market. If they fail to keep pace with The Times due to negligence in the competition, they may face a more serious business crisis.As a result, Both Tesla and BYD are seeking resources further up the supply chain to stay ahead of the competition.Lithium?At the heart of why the price hike is causing car companies to shiver is the fact that there is no way around lithium in the battery technology that is currently available.No matter the mainstream ternary lithium battery, lithium iron phosphate battery, rare lithium titanate battery, lithium solid state battery, can not escape lithium element or metal lithium as positive and negative materials.Therefore, when the development of new energy vehicles has reached a certain scale, it will inevitably encounter the bottleneck of lithium resource shortage, which hinders development.So, can batteries do without lithium?It is technically possible to replace lithium batteries with other batteries, but they are either too expensive or not yet in mass production.While the prospect of leveling lithium-ion batteries is promising, it will take some time for them to materialize.Hydrogen fuel cells, which are gaining momentum, are the most likely emerging technology to partially replace lithium-ion batteries.Unlike conventional batteries, which store energy through an external power source and then discharge it, hydrogen reacts with oxygen in the air to generate electricity.The model, aptly named a fuel cell, is similar to the internal combustion engine in extended-range cars that burns fuel to power the electric motor.However, hydrogen production and storage technologies are still immature, miniaturization of hydrogen fuel cells is still a problem to be solved, and large-scale commercial use of hydrogen fuel cells is still too early.The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in its “Medium and Long Term Development Plan for Hydrogen Industry (2021-2035)” that it will basically master core technologies and manufacturing industries in the hydrogen industry by 2025, initially establish a complete supply chain and industrial system, and form a hydrogen industry system by 2035.The complementary development mode of fuel cell electric vehicle and lithium battery pure electric vehicle was initially established.In other words, the promotion of hydrogen energy technology still needs time. When its technology is mature, it will be a complementary technology to replace lithium batteries to a certain extent.In addition to the unique hydrogen fuel cell, using other elements as the positive/negative electrode and content of the power battery to replace lithium battery is also one of the current development directions.In 2021, Ningde Times released sodium ion battery. Compared with lithium ion battery, sodium ion battery has advantages such as large resource reserve, good performance in low temperature and fast charge, and long service life, but its energy density is 20% lower than that of lithium ion battery.In a family car where the land is expensive, a 20% lower range is obviously a fatal disadvantage, but in passenger cars, heavy trucks, energy storage power stations, sodium ion batteries can play their core advantages, thus replacing lithium batteries.In passenger cars, Ningde Times adopts a hybrid scheme of lithium ion battery and sodium ion battery AB battery to achieve complementary advantages and help balance the vehicle power battery in cost, life and endurance.At present, Ningde times is developing the next generation of sodium ion batteries, which will be improved in terms of energy density.No car companies have commercialized the technology yet, but sodium-ion batteries may one day become a favorite.Manganese-cathode batteries, which are also affordable, have recently been getting tesla’s attention.Tesla sees the potential of manganese-based cathode in battery chemistry, musk said during the opening ceremony of Tesla’s Gigafactory in Germany, and the company is exploring adding more manganese to batteries to explore more possibilities.Manganese batteries are similar to sodium batteries, and their raw materials are abundant in nature, making them more affordable than lithium batteries.In addition, manganese battery is better than lithium battery in safety and low temperature performance.However, the technology is currently in pre-development and is expected to take some time to reach the market.If car companies want to further alleviate the crisis of lithium resource shortage, it is not enough to seize the “open source” behavior of lithium resource, so car companies have retired the battery recycling idea of “saving money”.In 2020, Tesla launched a battery recycling service on its official website in China, promising that all the lithium batteries recycled can be fully utilized.For example, niO’s battery leasing business also realizes the recycling and utilization of battery resources to a certain extent.Most of these enterprises rely on existing power battery suppliers or recycling enterprises for battery recycling, which only plays a bridge role between users and recycling enterprises, and has little effect on their own battery supply.According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued “new energy vehicle waste power battery comprehensive utilization industry specification conditions” shows that by the end of 2021, there are 27 enterprises in line with China’s power battery recycling standards, including Ningde Times, Guoxun High-tech, BYD and other battery manufacturers.Among them, as a vehicle production enterprise and battery production enterprise BYD, in line with echelon utilization and recycling double specifications.At present, byd has been carried out in shandong partnership with Chinese group tower cell arrangement in recycling project, will be life shrink batteries used base stations and other facilities for storing electricity requirement is not high, such as battery dismantling of the reentry after further attenuation, so as to enhance utilization rate of resources as much as possible, after the final dismantling of all kinds of resources can also be used all over the new battery production.In addition to BYD, a giant with battery production, recycling and vehicle production capacity, other car companies are also exploring in-depth cooperation with battery recycling enterprises to develop battery recycling business.In January this year, the Department of Economy and Information Technology of Anhui Province released 021 Anhui Province new energy vehicle power battery recycling regional center enterprises (station) pilot list, which has guoxuan High-tech and Jianghuai Automobile and Wuhu Chery and Anhui Ruisaike two consortium into the pilot list.Although jAC and Chery have no battery production capacity at present, it is also of certain significance for their own lithium battery supply in the future to make good use of the eliminated battery resources by developing a consortium with existing battery recycling enterprises.Zhixing View 2022 is destined to be an extraordinary year in the automobile industry, especially for the new energy automobile industry, which has just embarked on the road of stable development, or will usher in a heavy blow.The price increase caused by the battery price increase, to some extent, reduces consumers’ desire to buy, which further affects sales and revenue.Being forced to raise prices and stop production for cost reasons is the last thing that car companies want to see. In order to alleviate the cost crisis, car companies can only control costs by means of increasing source and reducing expenditure, purchasing lithium raw materials and recycling waste batteries.Battery makers are also developing batteries from other materials to ease the lithium supply crunch.However, the means of market regulation are always sluggish. Affected by the current epidemic and regional conflicts, the prices of core auto parts may remain high, and it will take some time for auto companies to see the dawn of various self-rescue operations.It is believed that with the initiative of various car companies and the debut of new battery technology, the market price of new energy vehicles will fall in the future, and the new energy vehicle industry will return to the track of vigorous development.

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