China’s development of the AEV and Li-ion battery industry 04-13-2017

China’s alternative energy industry is booming, benefitting from the increasing demand in the own country as well as worldwide. Year on year increases of Li-ion batteries demand show numbers up to 65.8%.  


The output of alternative energy vehicles (AEV) in China is the largest in the world, represented by cumulative sales of over 951,000 pieces in December 2016. The Chinese government adopted in the year 2009 a plan to boost its automotive technology and increase the efforts to lead the growing alternative energy vehicle market to become the global leader in the manufacturing of all-electric and hybrid vehicles in the market.


Looking at the area of the power battery, alternative energy passenger vehicle, bus, as well as special vehicle, the ratio of both alternative energy bus and special vehicle is declining, while the ratio of alternative energy passenger vehicle is rising, and the capacity surplus of power battery in 2017 will become prominent.


As a matter of fact, in the past few years, China has surpassed the USA in sales of AEV and recently announced it was investing $365 billion to keep the momentum going.


China has rapidly grown to become one of the globally most important markets for automobiles. As Chinese automobile, original equipment manufacturers continue to increase their presence in international markets and international automobile companies increase their presence in China, the Chinese consumer will highly influence the types of cars produced.


According to market intelligence firm CCM, industry experts are of the opinion, that the AEV industry would reach 780,000 vehicles in the annual sales volume in 2017. From 2019, domestic AEV manufacturers would face increasingly fierce market competition with the impact of foreign brands, and the market would anticipate a peak with annual sale volume of about 2.5 million.


It is very likely, that in 2017 the market demand for alternative energy urban distribution vehicle would reach over 120,000 vehicles, and the scale would reach 450,000 vehicles in 2020.


Li-ion battery

China is the largest lithium consumer in the world, while countries like Japan and South Korean are also expanding in consumption. The global lithium consumption in 2016 amounted to about 200,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate with a year-on-year growth of about 14%. At the end of 2016, China’s lithium salt capacity amounted to about 170,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate, of which extraction of lithium from brine capacity amounted to 45,000 tonnes, and the rest capacity was recovery of lithium from ore.


However, key problems including durability, environmental adaptation and security need to be tackled, when the market is rapidly growing.


Currently, the major problems in China’s Li-ion battery industry can be found in the low concentration, lack of technical accumulation, and innovation. According to CCM, there are several hundreds of Li-ion battery enterprises in China, but only several dozens of them are large in scale, resulting in serious resources decentralisation and chaotic market competition. Consequently, China’s Li-ion battery industry stays large but weak, unable to optimise resources allocation and shape standardised and orderly market pattern.  


The 2016 AEV Power Battery Industrial Research Report shows that in the recent two years, the power Li-ion battery market has become the largest engine for the rapid growth of the global Li-ion battery market. The future decade will witness the increasingly explosive growth of global power Li-ion battery market.


In terms of regional market, China has become the most pulsating region in global Li-ion battery development. Data indicated that in 2016 the total sales volume of annual alternative energy vehicles achieved 517,000, the Li-ion battery market scale approximated USD16.21 billion (RMB111.50 billion), and the demand for power Li-ion battery reached USD8.79 billion (RMB60.50 billion), with a year-on-year increase of 65.8%.


About CCM

CCM is the leading market intelligence provider for China’s agriculture, chemicals, food & ingredients and life science markets.


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