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More worrying than the safety of power batteries is the shortage of lithium resources

2021-10-14 03:50:00 Netease automotive industry

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Power battery safety has always been one of the pain points in the development of new energy vehicle industry . To solve this problem , Major car enterprises and battery enterprises have launched “ No fire 、 No explosion ” The power battery . At present, there are already BYD Blade battery 、 Ningde era 811 The battery 、 GAC AIAN Magazine battery 、 The Great Wall Dayu battery and other products , Claim to be able to “ No fire ” perhaps “ No explosion ”.

But from the perspective of technology research and development , majority “ No fire 、 No explosion ” Battery technology is still an improved research and development . Take Dayu battery as an example , The technical principle is that when the battery is thermally out of control , Take heat source partition 、 Bidirectional commutation 、 Heat flow distribution 、 Directional blasting 、 High temperature insulation 、 Automatic fire extinguishing 、 Positive piezoresistive oxygen 、 Intelligent cooling and other means , To protect the battery from fire 、 No explosion . In short , When the power battery loses heat , Safely drain the gas fire flow out of the battery pack according to the design channel , It is similar to adding a heat dissipation link .

before , Car enterprises and power battery enterprises often take protective and blocking methods for batteries with heat out of control , But because a single cell stores a lot of energy , If blocking protection is adopted , When the heat reaches a certain level , It is very easy to cause thermal runaway of adjacent cells and adjacent modules .

Compared with , At present, such as Dayu battery, etc “ No fire 、 No explosion ” Battery technology has improved a lot . However, I believe , at present “ No fire 、 No explosion ” Our batteries are more structural innovations , It is equivalent to installing a fire extinguisher on the explosive cell , There is no guarantee that 100% The safety of the . Because with current technology , The power battery is not absolutely safe .

thus , Some enterprises focus on batteries “ No fire 、 No explosion ” On , There are also some elements that attract attention . according to 《 Safety requirements for power batteries for electric vehicles 》 Equal standard , After thermal runaway of the battery cell , The battery system is 5 No fire for minutes 、 No explosion , Allow time for escape . If according to this standard , At present, the power batteries on the market are enough to meet the requirements .

in fact , At present, in addition to improving the safety performance of power batteries , The more urgent problem is how to solve the increasingly tense problem of lithium resources . The IEA expects ,2030 There will be 50% Lithium resource gap . And for now , future 5~10 During the year , It will still be three element Development of lithium ion batteries based on lithium and lithium iron phosphate “ All over the world ”. It means , Seizing lithium resources will become the key to the future fate of auto enterprises .

At the moment , The shortage of lithium resources has come ahead of schedule . This year, 8 End of month , Chairman and chairman of honeycomb energy CEO Yang Hongxin said in an interview :“ At present, the capacity gap of power battery should be in 30% To 50%, It is related to the product structure of different enterprises . This year, 、 Next year, 、 the year after next , We even predict until 2025 The annual power battery capacity will be tight .”

In short supply , Upstream raw materials of lithium batteries include lithium carbonate 、 Lithium hydroxide 、 The price of electrolyte has increased to varying degrees . Such as , The price of lithium carbonate products continues to rise , Recently, prices have changed almost every day , At present, the price is close to 19 Ten thousand yuan / Tons of , It has risen in the past month 50% above , Compared with the beginning of the year 5.7 About ten thousand yuan , The increase has been as high as 233%.“ One is hard to find ” It has become the current situation of raw material procurement of lithium battery enterprises , The orders of many raw material manufacturers have been scheduled for next year .

The most direct impact of the rising price of lithium battery raw materials is , The decline of enterprise gross profit margin , In order to meet this challenge, enterprises will choose two angles to maintain a reasonable gross profit margin : First, reduce manufacturing costs , The second is to raise product prices . besides , For the power lithium battery industry , The rise in raw material prices and the decline in gross profit margin will further compress the living space of small battery enterprises .

With the expansion of power battery capacity , In the future, key raw materials may not be able to keep up with the pace of capacity expansion , face “ thetime ” The risk of . Therefore, power battery enterprises should not rely too much on the uneven distribution of lithium resources , It's more convenient to explore multiple paths 、 Higher cost performance 、 Stronger safety and reliability 、 Better power battery technology and materials .

If lithium resources are unsustainable , First, we are required to speed up the construction of lithium-ion battery recycling system . At present, some institutions have begun to carry out research on the recycling of retired lithium-ion batteries , But the technology is still relatively immature ; Two is , Step up the research and development of new materials for power battery technology . In addition to lithium ion batteries represented by ternary lithium and lithium iron phosphate , A variety of technical routes are booming . For example, the sodium ion battery in Ningde era 、 Cobalt free battery for honeycomb energy , And hydrogen fuel cells 、 Solid state battery, etc . in general , As long as the power battery has two basic characteristics of high reliability and high safety, it can meet the development and market demand of new energy vehicles .

Develop a variety of power battery technology routes , In addition to being able to counter the lack of lithium resources , It can also make the battery safer . Among the various existing explorations , Solid state batteries are most likely to be the next generation of power batteries . Solid state batteries are not necessarily all solid state , Eventually, it may also be semi-solid or semi-liquid . There are studies that show that , Solid state batteries can shorten the charging time , The battery pack can be made safer by removing the flammable electrolyte solution used in the lithium-ion battery .

however , The research of solid-state battery is still expensive , And there is no relatively reliable application example in real life , It is expected that it will take many years to solve the application obstacles , Then popularize to The public market . But the good news is , At present, many car companies and battery companies at home and abroad are continuously exploring diversified technical routes . diversified 、 Rational development of power battery industry , No matter for the development strategy of China's new energy vehicles 、 Consumer experience , Or for the sustainable development of the enterprise itself , It's of great significance .

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