BYD was the first electric vehicle company and the first power battery company, but in recent years, it lost to Tesla in the former field and Ningde Times in the latter field.
It needs to fight back, and the first weapon to show up is the "blade battery."
Blade battery is the first product of Verdi. Verdi is an independent company established after BYD's split of the battery business. He Long, the vice president of BYD, is the chairman. He said that the blade battery has been put into mass production. The first mass production model equipped with blade batteries will be this year. Available in June.
BYD Han Source: BYD Official
The blade battery is not a material and technological innovation, but a battery production and processing technology. The blade describes the battery as narrow and long, up to 2 meters in length and only 13.5 millimeters thick. This structure can greatly improve the volume utilization of the battery, install more batteries in the limited car space, and thus match the ternary lithium battery in the range .
This is in line with the current development trend of electric vehicles. Starting from last year, subsidies for electric vehicles subsided. Not only electric vehicle companies need to improve efficiency and reduce costs, but also the products themselves. BYD claims that the lithium iron phosphate blade battery not only can match the ternary lithium battery, but also has advantages in safety, life and cost.
However, in the two-month period from the official announcement of the technology to the official release, the battery industry landscape has changed again. Ningde Times teamed up with Tesla. The CTP lithium iron phosphate battery developed by Ningde Times similar to blade batteries may also be supplied to Tesla in June. In addition, other than Tesla, GM, Volkswagen and other established car companies also have to make their own batteries.
BYD President Wang Chuanfu is very confident about the blade battery, saying it can "force the entire new energy vehicle industry to make changes." But today's problem is that the industry has changed. BYD, which had missed the ternary lithium battery dividend because of betting on the technical route of lithium iron phosphate batteries, the gradual innovation of blade batteries may be a sharp counterattack, but it cannot become Overturned nuclear weapons.
Revenge of lithium iron phosphate
When new energy vehicles first appeared, a major problem that needed to be solved was the mileage. The ternary lithium battery has a higher energy density and a longer battery life, so it surpassed the lithium iron phosphate battery and became the "xiangxiang" in the field of power batteries. Ningde Times also used this technology to surpass BYD and become the number one installed unit.
However, to increase the energy density of a ternary lithium battery, the nickel content in the battery must be increased, which reduces the thermal stability of the battery and makes it easier for electric vehicles to ignite spontaneously. In 2019, both Tesla and NIO's electric vehicles have spontaneous combustion.
In the early stage of the development of electric vehicles, most consumers like to embrace new technologies. Safety and stability are not the first requirements. But nowadays, electric vehicles are gradually becoming popular and becoming mainstream. At the critical stage of market cultivation, safety accidents easily make potential consumers lose trust in electric vehicles.
In contrast, the lithium iron phosphate battery has a low energy density and higher safety. The name of the blade battery conference is "An Tianxia", and it also uses "safety" as the biggest highlight of the blade battery.
In Wang Chuanfu's view, the blind pursuit of energy density puts the development path of electric vehicles upside down. "The unrealistic pursuit of battery energy density has completely deviated from the development path of the power battery industry, and paid a very heavy price for the safety reputation of new energy passenger cars."
At the press conference, BYD played acupuncture experiments on three kinds of power batteries (ternary lithium batteries, blade batteries and traditional lithium iron phosphate batteries). This is the most rigorous way to test battery safety. In the test, the steel needle will pierce the battery cell, and the large area of the battery cell is short-circuited. Under such extreme conditions, the battery safety is tested.
In the test, the ternary lithium battery had an open flame, the traditional lithium iron phosphate battery smoked, the blade battery did not have an open flame or smoke, and the surface temperature was only 30 ° C to 60 ° C.
"Blade batteries are expected to completely erase the word spontaneous combustion from the dictionary of new energy vehicles." Wang Chuanfu said.
BYD not only claimed to solve the safety problem, but also reached the standard of ternary lithium battery in the range. According to reports, the energy density of "blade batteries" can reach 180Wh / kg, while the energy density of ternary lithium batteries is 160Wh / kg. The battery range of BYD Han equipped with blade batteries will reach 600 kilometers, which is comparable to that of electric vehicles equipped with ternary lithium batteries.
As the mileage of electric vehicles continues to increase, the mileage of some electric vehicles is now comparable to that of fuel vehicles. The main contradiction that has plagued the development of electric vehicles has gradually shifted from the mileage to safety and cost. "After subsidizing the landslide, the advantages of low-cost and good-safety lithium iron phosphate batteries will be further amplified." A battery company engineer told Future Automobile Daily that under the pressure of cost pressure on enterprises, the market share of lithium iron phosphate batteries Rates are expected to pick up.
BYD wants to turn over, can't just rely on blade batteries
BYD has high hopes for blade batteries.
Previously, BYD technically suppressed the lithium iron phosphate technology, and insisted on not selling it to the outside world. Therefore, it missed the outbreak of China's new energy market. Before 2017, BYD has been the largest domestic supplier of power batteries, but has since been surpassed by the Ningde era. Although BYD opened foreign cooperation in 2018, the market has been robbed and the gap has grown. In 2019, BYD power batteries The installed capacity is only one-third of the Ningde era.
However, BYD has blade batteries, and its rivals are not technically backward.
Blade battery technology used to change the structure of the battery is not unique to BYD. At the end of 2019, Ningde Times Industry has released CTP technology, which is very similar to blade battery technology. It also improves the safety and energy density by changing the battery structure.
In February, Tesla and Ningde Times exposed the procurement of cobalt-free batteries-CTP lithium iron phosphate batteries. Driven by this, many stocks in the A-share market are involved in the daily limit of lithium iron phosphate. According to a report released by Bloomberg New Energy, lithium iron phosphate batteries are gaining popularity in China's auto industry due to their cost competitiveness, safety, and low sensitivity to commodity price dynamics.
Compared with the Ningde era, BYD's blade battery technology has some advantages. The above-mentioned engineer of the power battery company told the Future Automobile Daily that BYD's blade battery technology is very radical. The current trend of soft pack battery technology is to change from a rectangular shape to a more slender shape. BYD's blade battery can be regarded as a major breakthrough in the design and manufacture of single cells. Leading the Ningde era.
Slender blade battery Source: BYD official
However, blade batteries have only made innovations in the manufacturing process and cell structure, and have not yet made breakthroughs in battery materials. "Blade battery and CTP technology only increase the space of the battery, without solving the essential problems, this technology can only be popular for some time," an insider of the battery manufacturer Huineng Technology told the Future Automobile Daily.
The performance of blade batteries in practice has also been questioned. Ideal Xiang CEO Li Xiang once said on Weibo that because lithium iron phosphate batteries do not perform well in low temperature environments, blade batteries are most suitable for low-end pure electric vehicles and southern operating vehicles.
A greater breakthrough in battery technology is also imminent.
The above-mentioned Huineng technology sources revealed that the threshold of CTP and blade battery technology is not as high as expected, and some current solid-state battery manufacturers are also trying to apply CTP technology to solid-state batteries. The industry generally believes that in the second half of 2021, automotive-grade solid-state batteries will be commercially available.
Ternary lithium batteries and lithium iron phosphate batteries are the darlings of the times, but once more advanced battery material technologies such as solid-state batteries break through, ternary lithium batteries and lithium iron phosphate batteries are no longer the most suitable power batteries, which will completely change Previous game rules.
Blade batteries have captured the turning point of the electric vehicle industry, but it is still the technology of the previous era. To return to the first and lead the era, BYD also needs more destructive innovation as a weapon.