Chinese EV producers step up solid-state battery plans

  • : Battery materials, Metals
  • 24/05/27

Major Chinese auto manufacturers aim to launch mass production of solid-state batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) in the coming years.

State-owned SAIC plans to deploy full solid-state batteries in its own EV brands from 2025 and start mass production in 2026. The battery will have an energy density of over 400Wh/kg. This can support at least 1,000km of driving range, according to industry forecasts.

SAIC produced nearly 290,000 new energy vehicles during January-April, accounting for 22pc of its total vehicle production, up by 32pc from a year earlier. It is also China's largest EV exporter.

GAC Group has also outlined a plan to deploy full solid-state batteries with its Hyber EV brand in 2026. The battery has an energy density of 400Wh/kg that can support more than 1,000km of driving range.

Domestic EV producer Nio in last June tested a solid-state battery with a 360Wh/kg energy density and a 1,044km driving range. IM Motors, in which SAIC holds a stake, in April unveiled a plan to launch its IM L6 EV model with an ultra-fast charging solid-state battery with 130kWh of power and support up to 1,000km of driving range with a 900V ultra-fast charging capacity.

Chinese EV and battery manufacturers have accelerated their development of solid-state batteries in an effort to make up for the shortcomings of dominant ternary and lithium iron phosphate batteries, such as erratic safety performance or limited driving range. Solid-state batteries with a longer life, smaller size and safer performance are considered the main development direction for the next generation of power batteries in a rapidly developing global EV industry.

But there are several challenges restricting mass production of solid-state batteries, particularly significantly higher manufacturing costs, which could complicate Chinese EV manufacturers' production targets.


Related news posts

Argus illuminates the markets by putting a lens on the areas that matter most to you. The market news and commentary we publish reveals vital insights that enable you to make stronger, well-informed decisions. Explore a selection of news stories related to this one.

24/06/24

Industria mexicana se enfrenta a un peso más débil

Industria mexicana se enfrenta a un peso más débil

Mexico City, 24 June (Argus) — La depreciación del peso mexicano después de las elecciones ha afectado al comercio e inversión en energía, con un dólar estadounidense más caro elevando el precio de las importaciones de combustible y gas natural. El peso perdió aproximadamente 11pc de su valor frente al dólar estadounidense a medida que los mercados reaccionaron a la abrumadora victoria electoral del partido en el poder Morena en las elecciones del 2 de junio. El tipo de cambio saltó de Ps16.65/$1 solo una semana antes de la votación a un pico de Ps18.99/$1 en los días siguientes. Desde entonces, la tasa se ha estabilizado en Ps18.30-Ps18.50/$1 en los últimos días. "El nuevo umbral para el tipo de cambio probablemente será de Ps18 por dólar", afirmó Gabriela Soni, directora de inversiones de UBS Asesores México. Añadió que, aunque el movimiento ha sido abrupto, "creemos que está justificado dada la aprobación esperada de las reformas constitucionales que tienen el potencial de erosionar el sistema de división de poderes y afectar a las decisiones de inversión en el país." Soni se refirió a la consolidación histórica del poder político asegurado por Morena y los partidos aliados en las elecciones que les entregó no solo la presidencia, como se esperaba, sino el control de 27 de las 32 gubernaturas estatales, y solo a unos pocos escaños en el senado de obtener mayorías calificadas en ambas cámaras del congreso. Con los resultados, el camino está muy claro para que el presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador apruebe las controvertidas reformas judiciales durante su último mes en el poder en septiembre. Esto podría significar la eliminación de las reformas energéticas promercado aprobadas en 2014, la disolución de los reguladores del sector energético de México y el endurecimiento de la visión estatista de López Obrador de un sector energético dominado por la empresa estatal de petróleo y gas Pemex y la empresa de electricidad CFE. El tipo de cambio podría bajar aún más en los próximos meses si la economía se mantiene estable, dijo Pedro López, director adjunto de análisis económico de Banco BASE, un banco especializado mexicano que apoya a las empresas internacionales con operaciones en el país. Dicho esto, el tipo de cambio frente al dólar estadounidense "continuará estando sometido a presiones más elevadas estos meses hasta las elecciones presidenciales de EE. UU. en noviembre", dijo López. López dijo que el mercado debería tener una imagen más clara de México para finales de año, después de las elecciones estadounidenses y con mayor claridad después de la próxima sesión legislativa mexicana. Añadió que las presiones inflacionistas derivadas del aumento del tipo de cambio probablemente llevarían al banco central a mantener la tasa de interés de referencia en 11pc, manteniendo tasas de interés altas en México. Estas, a su vez, atraen a los inversionistas globales de nuevo al peso bajo la dinámica actual de tasas, suponiendo que no haya perturbaciones adicionales. Balance de energía Dado que México es un importador neto de energía desde 2015, "una depreciación del peso mexicano tiende a empeorar el balance del petróleo", afirmó Soni. "Sin embargo, México es un exportador neto en sectores no energéticos, especialmente en la fabricación, y la balanza comercial se beneficiaría en estos sectores." Y aunque el tipo de cambio puede ayudar a México a ganar más dinero por las exportaciones de petróleo, "tenemos que recordar que son cada vez menos", dijo Víctor Herrera, jefe de estudios económicos del Instituto Mexicano de Ejecutivos Financieros (IMEF). Pemex está redirigiendo el petróleo hacia sus refinerías, bajo el mandato del presidente para aumentar la producción nacional de combustible. Como resultado, las exportaciones de petróleo crudo mexicano cayeron 31pc año con año en abril a 618,000 b/d. A pesar de los esfuerzos, los productos refinados importados de EE. UU. siguen representando aproximadamente 72pc de su consumo nacional de gasolina, diésel, gas natural y turbosina, según los datos de la secretaria de energía. Se necesitará tiempo para saber qué beneficios, si los hubiera, aportan las ventas de petroleo de Pemex al extranjero, que se traducen en pesos adicionales, afirmó Herrera. Mientras tanto, añadió: "pagaremos dólares más caros para importar gasolina." Por James Young Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Q&A: New DLE method seeks to access US lithium reserves


24/06/24
24/06/24

Q&A: New DLE method seeks to access US lithium reserves

London, 24 June (Argus) — Direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology has been around for a few years now, but several methods exist and are mine-specific. US-based Iliad technologies is attempting to find a universal method by which to extract lithium and export this technology to an increasingly diversified global lithium market. Argus spoke with Iliad chief executive Samuel Moore. Edited highlights follow: How does Iliad's DLE technology work? It is born out of Energy Source Minerals, which is a company that is developing a project in California on the Salton Sea. The genius of Iliad was really the need for technology that worked at high temperatures and could deal with the fluids coming up from the Salton Sea, and we decided there was not really anything on the market that was right for our project. It is based on absorption desorption, which is one of the longer-standing methods of DLE that I know of. It has been used for 30-plus years and in Argentina. What happens is that the lithium-bearing brine enters the system. The kinetics of the brine push the lithium into an absorbent material that is designed to capture the lithium and ignore everything else. It is almost the reverse of a filter. Everything else washes through the system and is injected back into the ground. Then we wash the lithium out of that absorbent material using just water. So we do not use any reagents, we do not use any acid, and we do not use any other harmful materials. It is a very clean system. We run a continuous process and smaller columns with a very clever valve that basically pumps the fluid through 30 different columns of absorbent. We work the absorbent continuously to take a stream of lithium chloride out of the back end. It means we use a lot less absorbent and a lot less water. Does Iliad technology work in different forms of brine, different from the geothermal brines in the Salton Sea? One of the myths of DLE is that you need a different solution for different clients. We do not think this is true. We have tested on more than 30 different lines. We have tested geothermal obviously, but we have tested salars [large brine fields] and in Smackover [lithium mining area in the US]. We have tested waters that come up with oil and gas. In different countries, we have a lot of data now and Iliad works universally with all of them. I don't think it is true to say that each different project requires a different technology. Our flavour of absorption desorption is very effective. We have tested brines with lithium of as low as 40 parts per million (ppm) and as high as up into the thousands. It works at both of these readings and at everything in between. We are really confident and comfortable that there are technologies out there that have universal application, and we are going to be one of those. Who could make use of this technology, and in what areas of the lithium sector? Our modern take on DLE unlocks resources that couldn't really be developed before. The traditional way to develop brine field lithium was with evaporation ponds in South America, but you get very large losses. You only get 40-50pc recovery when you do that, it takes a long time and the product quality is not there. So DLE allows a step change in performance than what is currently in the the industry and targets resources that are not really able to be targeted today. If you come back to the US, say the Smackover formation, you may get to process 204ppm of lithium. South America has 600ppm-plus of lithium, so DLE gets you lower. Then you get into the conversation around the geopolitics. Do I want to establish a lithium supply chain in the US, Europe and Canada — places that traditionally have not had one? I think DLE is going to be key to unlocking the domestic supply chain that the US government has clearly signalled is very important to it. We raised independent capital from Livent, now Arcadium Lithium. It was our cornerstone investor throughout that process. So it has taken a shareholding early, which is really interesting because it is the one industry participant that has done DLE for 30 years in Argentina already. How do lithium producers use DLE to reduce their impact on the environment? This will be the cleanest lithium you can produce — no question. Take our first project, for example. We are attached to the side of a geothermal power station. We capture the brine, so it comes to us hot. We capture the lithium using our method. Once the lithium has been removed, it goes back down the hole, in the same way that it does today. We use steam from the power station, and we use heat from the brine to do a lot of the processing. We use water to capture the lithium out of the absorbent material. We have no reagents and no harsh chemicals. [It is a] very low energy requirement. Compare this to hard rock mining, where you have a very large carbon footprint, a massive land footprint and then a huge amount of chemical use and the processing of that ore. You do not have evaporation ponds — once again, these leave a very large land footprint and incur very large water losses because you are evaporating the brine to the atmosphere to capture the salts left behind. So I mean, DLE — particularly really efficient DLE, like Iliad absorption desorption — will be the cleanest lithium you can get. By Thomas Kavanagh Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Ford suspends new EV models after further losses


24/06/24
24/06/24

Ford suspends new EV models after further losses

London, 24 June (Argus) — US carmaker Ford has decided to hold back the release of new battery electric vehicle (BEV) models after heavy costs for its existing BEV models forced it to restructure its sales programme. Ford will open up its range of BEVs to all dealerships in the US on 1 July, ending a programme it started in 2022 under which only "certified" dealerships could exclusively sell its EVs. Under programme, which included vehicles such as the Mustang Mach-E sport utility vehicle (SUV), the F-150 Lightning pick-up and the E-Transit van, Ford required "certified" or "certified elite" dealerships to make significant investments in charging infrastructure and customer service. Ford also required dealerships to display their prices on Ford's website, making it difficult for them to make significant mark-ups for EVs in high demand but with limited availability. "We will not launch a second-gen [EV] product unless it's profitable within the first year and we are going to get a return on that capital we're investing," chief financial officer John Lawler said. Ford announced plans in April for an electric truck in 2026 and a three-row SUV in 2027, delayed from 2025. The firm sold 20,223 EVs in the first quarter of this year — up by 86pc on the year — making it the second best-selling EV brand in the US behind Tesla. Tesla posted a 13.3pc fall in sales, down to 140,187 units in the same period. Overall EV sales in the US edged up by just 2.6pc to 268,909 units in the first quarter. Despite strong sales at Ford, the firm posted losses of $1.3bn before interest and taxes from its EV segment during the period, or just over $64,000 for each EV sold, owing to heavy costs. The firm has had to cut prices this year to compete with Tesla, including focusing on smaller, cheaper EVs . The firm also announced delays in EV investments last year worth $12bn , including scaling back plans at its Michigan battery plant . Ford's BEV sales increased by 88pc in January-May on the year to 37,208 units, ahead of 50.9pc for its hybrid vehicles and diesel and gasoline (internal combustion) models ( see graph ). By Chris Welch Ford Jan-May car sales by propulsion Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Pilbara Minerals eyes more Pilgangoora lithium output


24/06/21
24/06/21

Pilbara Minerals eyes more Pilgangoora lithium output

Singapore, 21 June (Argus) — Australian mining firm Pilbara Minerals has started a feasibility study into raising spodumene production capacity at its Pilgangoora operations in Western Australia. The P2000 expansion project will more than double Pilgangoora's output capacity to over 2mn t/yr, the firm said today. Pilbara forecasts Pilgangoora's output to average around 1.9mn t/yr of 5.2pc grade spodumene in the first 10 years after the P2000 expansion is completed, with production starting from 2028, if it does go ahead. Pilbara estimates A$1.2bn ($798mn) of capital expenditure for the project, which includes building a new ore flotation plant but excludes the extra capital expenditure needed for the mine to support the expansion. The firm approached Australian federal government financing agencies for the project's funding, which it said provided non-binding letters of support for "up to A$400mn" after the initial engagement. "The timing of the P2000 Project will be subject to the successful outcome of the next level of feasibility study, project approvals and the market outlook at the time of the financial investment decision," said the firm. The feasibility study is expected to be completed in October-December 2025, but the firm remained cautious about assuring a final investment decision (FID). Any FID decision needs to come after the study outcome, said managing director and chief executive Dale Henderson. "That's more than a year away, which is frankly an eternity in the lithium industry." The P2000 project will come after the firm's P680 and P1000 projects, which Pilbara Minerals has decided to plough ahead with . The P680 and P1000 projects would raise Pilgangoora's output capacity to 1mn t/yr. The firm earlier this year defended its lithium downstream strategy and is exploring building a downstream conversion plant with Chinese refiner Ganfeng. By Joseph Ho Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Liberty’s Dalzell plate mill suspends offers


24/06/20
24/06/20

Liberty’s Dalzell plate mill suspends offers

London, 20 June (Argus) — UK-based Liberty Steel has suspended offers for plate from its Dalzell mill in Scotland, market participants said today. The mill has been grappling with low margins, while the wider Liberty group has also been struggling, mothballing some mills and looking to sell others. "[Dalzell] is unable to purchase slabs at a competitive enough rate to allow them to continue operations," one source said. A source close to the company said the mill continues to produce and fulfil its order commitments. But several participants said it had suspended offers, suggesting it may not be taking new orders for fresh rollings. A Liberty Steel spokesperson declined to comment. Sluggish demand and high input costs have been weighing on plate re-rollers' profit margins across the European mainland as some Italian and northern European mills are reportedly producing around break-even levels . Competitive imports from Asia have also played a role in driving European offers down. Into the UK, Korean S275 plate was heard at £620-630/t ($785-798/t) cfr this week. "[These are] frightening prices. Not surprised that Liberty cannot compete at these levels," one participant commented. Liberty recently said it would enter creditor protection in the Czech Republic , and announced it would close the coke ovens at its Hungarian operation. It said in May it would look to sell or recapitalise its EU rolling lines . By Carlo Da Cas Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Business intelligence reports

Get concise, trustworthy and unbiased analysis of the latest trends and developments in oil and energy markets. These reports are specially created for decision makers who don’t have time to track markets day-by-day, minute-by-minute.

Learn more