Top 10 EV Battery Makers

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by VicBee, Aug 25, 2021.

  1. VicBee


    The Top 10 EV Battery Makers
    CATL, LG Chem, and Panasonic control 69 percent of the market

    Boomtimes in Batteries
    It's a great time to be a battery maker: The world could see 145 million electric vehicles on roads by 2030, versus 10 million in 2020, according to the International Energy Agency. Buyers registered 3 million new EVs globally last year. Those cars were stuffed with 134.5 gigawatt-hours of batteries — a 40 percent jump in one year, according to Adamas Intelligence. Proliferation aside, many EVs require ever-larger batteries to meet consumer demands for driving range, zippy performance, and now SUV size and utility. Ryan Castilloux, managing director of Adamas Intelligence, says COVID-19 barely dented mushrooming growth: "Through five months of 2021, the total auto battery capacity deployed on the world's roads is greater than all of 2018."

    Big Players Dominate
    Just six companies—BYD, CATL, LG Energy Solution, Panasonic, Samsung SDI, and SK Innovation—were responsible for supplying 87 percent of batteries and battery metals in passenger EVs in the second half of 2020. Tesla's deployment of 22.5 gigawatt-hours of batteries in that period was nearly as much as its five closest competitors combined: China's BYD, Hyundai, Mercedes, Renault, and Volkswagen. What Castilloux calls a "tsunami of demand" has put unprecedented pressure on battery- and motor-material supply chains, sparking a surge in prices for lithium, nickel, cobalt, neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium, and terbium.

    Meeting Demand
    Will the EV battery world be able to meet the EV demand? To have any shot, the United States alone may need 20 to 40 gigafactories over 15 years, with a combined terawatt of new battery capacity, to meet projected demand, says Venkat Srinivasan, director of the Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science. "Right now, the United States doesn't have enough materials to do that, so materials substitution and recycling will be key to get this to go," Srinivasan says.

    Racing to counter Asia's dominance, General Motors is building factories in Ohio and Tennessee with a combined 70-gigawatt capacity, double that of Tesla's Nevada gigafactory. Ford plans to scale up 140 GW of capacity in North America by 2030 (and 240 GW globally), in partnership with South Korea's SK Innovation. Ford figures that's about six plants' worth of homegrown capacity, and 10 globally.

    Old Tech, New Tricks
    Once seen as yesterday's news, lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries are booming—especially in China, where Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL), now the world's largest battery company, supplies LFP packs for Tesla's Model 3 Standard Range. Elon Musk made news recently by suggesting that Tesla is making a long-term shift toward cheaper, zero-cobalt LFP. "This is actually good because there's plenty of iron in the world," he said.

    LFP still makes up less than 10 percent of all Li-ion cells, but Castilloux said its global deployment soared more than 600 percent in the second half of 2020. LFP is less energy dense than nickel-rich cells, but its cathode material costs less. To help address efficiency handicaps, "cell-to-pack" construction forgoes the use of myriad cylindrical cells arranged in modules. Larger, prismatic cells integrate directly in packs, which saves space, reduces component count, and simplifies cooling and connections. "The pack is essentially one large module," Castilloux says. China's best-selling EV, the US $4,500 Wuling Mini, uses LFP packs by producers such as Hefei. Srinivasan says that LFP appears ideal for some applications. "A cheaper car with LFP that will last a long time and go maybe 150 miles is not bad," he says. Castilloux agrees that a global trend is emerging, with automakers—including General Motors, Tesla, and Volkswagen—adopting nickel-rich chemistries for longer-range or performance cars, and LFP for entry-level models.

    Explosive Growth
    Contemporary Amperex Technology and LG Energy Solution's staggering growth rates from 2016 to 2020 are not typos, including CATL's 3,400 percent leap. What Goldman Sachs dubs a "commodity supercycle" may put rare, prolonged strain on supply chains and prices for lithium and rare metals. Governments and consumers will also have a big say when it comes to ultimate EV adoption. But growth and government signals over a climate-change crisis suggest the boomtimes in batteries (see "Boomtimes in Batteries" [above or below TK]) are just beginning.

    The Gold Standard, for Now
    The race to boost battery nickel levels—and squeeze out pricey cobalt that's often sourced in suspect conditions—has a leader in LG Energy Solution. The South Korean company's potent NCMA cells (nickel, cobalt, magnesium, aluminum) will soon power Chinese-made Teslas and General Motors' EV lineup, with an industry-best 88 percent nickel chemistry. Automakers adopting NCMA can stuff more energy and driving range into a given space, without major pack redesigns. Adamas Intelligence says that 60 percent of all passenger EV batteries deployed in 2020 featured high-nickel cells, such as NCA or NCM 6- to 8-series cells. For unproven NCMA tech, "China is the test ground and sandbox" before the cells trickle into Western markets, Castilloux says. SK Innovation—mimicking LG's innovations, as usual—aims to put its NCMA cells into Fords. A small step below are NCM811 cells from players such as Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL), LG, and SK Innovation, with a roughly 8:1:1 ratio of nickel, cobalt, and manganese. One trick, Castilloux says, is to add nickel and curb cobalt while ensuring thermal stability, since fires are bad for business. Efficient manufacturing is another challenge, with CATL's high-end cells currently showing dispiriting yields as the company ramps up production and processes. Currently, for every nickel-rich CATL cell produced, roughly one defective cell goes to the recycler, Castilloux says (that's also bad for business). But with automakers eager to trumpet class-leading driving range or performance, advantages are clear: Battery cell densities have nearly tripled over the past decade, with leading chemistries now pushing past 300 watt-hours per kilogram.

    From IEEE Spectrum
    maxinger likes this.
  2. maxinger


    Who has a list of the bottom 10 battery makers?

    batteries have been known to explode or caught fire.
    It has been known to destroy properties & cause injuries.
  3. VicBee


    Is that so?
  4. VicBee


    More Than 150 Gas Car Fires Per Day — Can We Please Get Serious About Electric Car Battery Fires?
    Electric car batteries can catch fire. Okay. They always make headlines. There are 500 gasoline fires a day and few of them ever make the news. It’s time to take a breath and get over the fear of electric cars,


    Steve Hanley

    June 3, 2019 ‌
    A previous version of this story reported 500 gasoline fires a day based on figures over a three year period. The author neglected to divide by three. The actual number should an average of 166.7 gasoline fires per day. Steve regrets his inability to do simple math

    You see the headlines every day. Here’s one from the Herald in Everett, Washington, dated June 1, 2019: “Electric Car Batteries Can Catch Fire Days After An Accident.” Here’s another from the Mercury News dated June 2: “Two sisters trapped in burning car, one dead in collision with Tesla in downtown Berkeley.”

    Now let’s be very clear. The first story is about the special challenges first responders face when they have to deal with an accident involving electric cars. Those challenges are very real and emergency personnel absolutely need to know how to deal with them.

    The second story is tragic. Two people were trapped in a burning automobile and no one should make light of how horrible that must be. But the headline suggests it was the Tesla that caught fire. You have to read the story to find out it was actually a Ford Fiesta that burst into flames after being rear ended by a Tesla.

    You have to read even further to discover the Tesla driver apparently suffered a debilitating medical issue which precipitated the collision with the Fiesta. The passengers in the Fiesta were seriously hurt or killed. The passengers in the Tesla largely escaped without injury. The focus of the story should be on Ford building a car that explodes in a rear-end collision and the safety of the Tesla, not that a Tesla was involved in a fatal collision.

    150 Gasoline Fires A Day
    According to a recent FEMA report, “from 2014 to 2016 an estimated 171,500 highway vehicle fires occurred in the United States, resulting in an annual average of 345 deaths; 1,300 injuries; and $1.1 billion in property loss. These highway vehicle fires accounted for 13 percent of fires responded to by fire departments across the nation.”

    The report adds, “Approximately one in eight fires responded to by fire departments across the nation is a highway vehicle fire. This does not include the tens of thousands of fire department responses to highway vehicle accident sites.”

    In May, three people were killed when a gas station in Virginia exploded. In February, two cars were destroyed when a gas station in North Carolina burst into flames.

    The point is, the vehicles we use to get from Point A to Point B all rely on large amounts of stored energy, whether it is in liquid form like gasoline or in the form of electrons stored in batteries. We think nothing of it until something goes wrong.
  5. maxinger


    EV battery quality tends to be of good quality.
    batteries for Personal Mobility Device / electric bicycles can explode/catch fire anytime.

    There are definitely different grades of batteries
    VicBee likes this.
  6. Overnight


    Will anyone mention to Vic how a battery issue grounded the 787s for like 9 months? Before the pandemic?

    My memory is shot on the details, but it happened.
  7. VicBee


    Just about everything shut down those poorly engineered boeings