Reporter Gong Mengze
In the context of high power battery costs and rising raw material prices, technological innovation has become an important means of reducing costs.
On June 23, CATL released the CTP3.0 Kirin battery. The system integration has reached a new high in the world, the volume utilization rate has exceeded 72%, and the energy density can reach 255Wh/kg. listed.
Ningde Times said that through the world's first large-scale cooling technology for battery cells, Kirin batteries can support 5 minutes of fast hot start and 10 minutes of fast charging.
Under the same chemical system and the same battery pack size, the power of the Kirin battery pack is 13% higher than that of the Tesla 4680 system.
Affected by the above-mentioned good news, on June 23, the stock of CATL rose by nearly 6%, hitting a 60-day high intraday, closing at 536.97 yuan per share, with a market value of 1.25 trillion yuan.
Fang Jianhua, partner and president of the New Energy Vehicle Entrepreneurship Sub-Fund of the National Science and Technology Achievement Fund, told the Securities Daily reporter that the development direction of CTP (cell to pack, module-free power battery pack) has become an inevitable choice for car companies.
On the one hand, the Kirin battery integration technology has strengthened the core technology and market competitiveness of "Ningwang"; on the other hand, it will further strengthen the industry penetration rate of CTP and its impact on the related industrial chain.
Kirin battery energy density
Super Tesla 4680
Compared with the traditional "cell-module-battery pack" three-level structure, CTP technology eliminates or reduces the module assembly process, and integrates the cell directly into the battery pack.
The improvement of space utilization and the reduction of battery packs have increased the energy density and reduced the cost, which has become the "killer" of CTP.
As early as 2019, CATL released the world's first CTP battery pack jointly built with BAIC New Energy.
As the first-generation CTP battery of the CATL era, it eliminated the module side plates and other parts and module fastener welding processes, which increased the volume utilization rate of the battery pack by 20% to 30% and reduced the number of parts by 40%. Production efficiency increased by 50%.
After that, the second-generation CTP battery pack of CATL integrated the original module cell voltage and current sampling and other parts, further reducing the number of module accessories, and integrated the cells directly into the battery box.
The Kirin battery released by CATL this time is the third-generation CTP battery pack, and the volume utilization rate will increase from 55% of the first generation to 67%.
In this regard, Wu Kai, chief scientist of CATL, said that the Kirin battery has four significant advantages: high safety, long life, high energy, and 4C high-voltage fast charging, which is 13% more than the industry leader Tesla's 4680 battery. .
It is reported that the 4680 battery is Tesla's third-generation battery product, with a single energy density of about 300Wh/kg and a battery pack energy density of 217Wh/kg.
In 2021, Tesla claims that the energy of 4680 battery cells will increase by five times, and the cruising range of the whole vehicle will increase by up to 16%.
At the online performance conference held by CATL in early May this year, the company proposed a new goal to mass-produce batteries that meet the requirements of no thermal diffusion and have a cruising range of 1,000 kilometers in 2023. Mass production is expected in 2025. The battery-chassis combination using CTC technology integrates the two most important components of an electric vehicle.
"The release of Kirin battery is a manifestation of the continuous consolidation of technical advantages of CATL. The competition in the battery field is shifting from a price war to a value war. With the breakthrough of independent new energy car companies and the intensive launch of new energy models from overseas car companies, high energy The market demand for density power batteries is rapidly expanding.” Yu Qingjiao, secretary-general of the Zhongguancun New Battery Technology Innovation Alliance, told the Securities Daily reporter that the release of innovative battery technologies such as Kirin batteries will support the continuous increase in its global market share.
Leading the advanced manufacturing of lithium batteries
When it comes to the Ningde era and CTP technology, we have to say BYD and its blade battery (GCTP).
"CTP technology focuses on battery system innovation. In short, the battery cells are directly installed in the entire battery pack, the module structure is simplified, the battery pack structure is optimized, and the cost is greatly reduced through hierarchical division." An engineer in the lithium battery industry told reporters that the blade battery is an infinitely elongated cell width to make an ultra-long cell of 90 cm or even 1 meter faster.
The ultra-thin cell adopts a manufacturing process similar to that of a soft-pack battery, with tabs at both ends.
In the opinion of the above-mentioned lithium battery engineers, the advantage of CTP technology is that on the basis of the constant cost of 102Ah and 150Ah battery cells, the use of CTP technology to achieve system cost reduction, can fully participate in the design process of the entire battery pack, and then own and OEM companies. bargaining power, and strengthen the right to speak in the industry chain.
In terms of blade battery, it is independently designed and developed by BYD, with perfect intellectual property rights, and the technology is more innovative.
"But overall, blade batteries are essentially the same technology as CTP."
"Ningde Times is the first listed company to launch CTP battery technology, and this technology upgrade will also promote the CTP track to heat up again." Yu Qingjiao told the "Securities Daily" reporter that so far, there have been many power battery companies and car companies. The research and development of CTP and similar battery technology solutions is in full swing.
According to the reporter's observation, in addition to CATL and BYD, domestic battery manufacturers such as Honeycomb Energy and China Innovation Aviation have also launched CTP-related products.
For example, the first generation of Honeycomb Energy CTP reduced the number of components by 24%; the second generation group efficiency increased by 5% to 10%, space utilization increased by 5%, and the number of components was reduced by 22%; Stop Bettery has no traditional shell cover. Through multi-functional composite packaging, integrated bridge electrical connection, high-shear external insulation and other technologies, the structural weight is reduced by 40%, the number of parts is reduced by 25%, and the space utilization rate is increased by 5%.
It can be seen from the technical routes of the above-mentioned companies that although the specific names of battery products are different, they all focus on CTP technology that increases space utilization and improves energy density.
"The difference is only in how to solve the insulation problem, how to prevent thermal runaway, and what method to use for thermal management. The direction is correct, but technical breakthroughs and supply chain guarantees are still needed." Fang Jianhua said.
"CTP technology realizes the innovation of battery structure, and Chinese enterprises lead the world." Guotai Junan Securities believes that driven by the two leading enterprises of CATL and BYD, Chinese power battery enterprises are leading the way in the field of CTP technology research and development.
After the successful application of a number of popular new energy vehicles, we expect to start the first year of large-scale application of CTP technology in 2022. It is expected that by 2025, the domestic and global new energy vehicle battery tray market space will exceed 20 billion yuan and 35 billion yuan respectively. The CAGR is expected to be 32.4% and 30.2%, respectively.
Lithium battery industry breeds
Following on May 31 last year, CATL took the lead in breaking through the trillion yuan market value mark. On June 10 this year, BYD joined the "trillion yuan club", making the domestic auto circle have "trillion heroes".
Looking back on the growth history of the two companies, CATL focuses on the research and development, production and sales of new energy vehicle power battery systems and energy storage systems, and quickly grew into a domestic power battery manufacturer giant; industry changes and multiple strategic transformations , forging BYD into an independent brand leader whose business layout covers electronics, automobiles, new energy and rail transit.
The common point of the two companies standing out is undoubtedly the east wind of the vigorous development of the new energy market.
According to the data of the China Automobile Association, in the first five months of this year, the cumulative sales of domestic automobiles was 9.555 million. Although it is showing a significant recovery growth, it still has a year-on-year decline of 12.2%; among them, the new energy market is really strong. In the first five months, domestic sales of new energy vehicles have exceeded 2 million, a year-on-year increase of 111.2%.
The China Automobile Association predicts that this year's sales of new energy vehicles will exceed the 5 million mark.
The broad market prospects provide strong support for the "trillion yuan market value" of BYD and CATL.
However, upon closer inspection, the development paths of the two companies are different.
The rise of CATL, which was only established in 2011, is based on new market demands and seizes the opportunities in the global new energy vehicle market. Its customers not only include major domestic car companies, but also reach agreements with Tesla, Hyundai, Ford, Daimler, etc. strategic cooperation.
In 2021, the global installation rate of CATL will account for 32.6%, and overseas revenue will reach 27.87 billion yuan, accounting for 21.38% of total revenue.
In May of this year, CATL’s power battery domestically installed 8.51GWh, with a market share of 45.85%, ranking first on the list.
In contrast, BYD is a representative of relying on forward-looking layout to accumulate a lot of money.
BYD, which was established in 1995 and entered the automotive field in 2002, also started from traditional fuel vehicles, but always has a "new energy dream".
In April this year, BYD set a new record with sales of nearly 106,000 units, topping the global new energy vehicle sales champion, pushing Tesla to second place.
In May, BYD reached a new high, achieving production and sales of 118,135 and 114,943 new energy vehicles respectively, a year-on-year increase of 270% and 250% respectively.
"The scale of the lithium battery industry is extremely large, especially with the explosive growth of new energy electric vehicles, the 'money road' of the lithium battery industry is bright." Gao Yunpeng, director of the China New Energy Vehicle Industry Innovation Alliance, said in an interview with a reporter from "Securities Daily", but gradually The enlarged market has not provided many opportunities for more participants, because the monopoly of lithium battery manufacturing powerhouses has basically been established, and the era of lithium battery manufacturing in China has come.