Due to policy support for new energy vehicles with long battery life and high density batteries, the subsidies have also increased accordingly, leading to most battery companies developing ternary lithium batteries. As the Chinese government began to reduce subsidies for new energy vehicles in mid-2019 and the frequent occurrence of ternary lithium battery car accidents, the market ’s interest in lithium iron phosphate batteries (LFP) has once again heated up.
However, the recent news that Tesla and Ningde Cooperative may use lithium iron phosphate batteries, and the application of BYD lithium iron phosphate "blade batteries" will bring people's attention back to lithium iron phosphate batteries. According to forecasts, as subsidies accelerate their decline and market competition intensifies, Tesla will use iron phosphate batteries, largely because of its low cost advantages, and with the introduction of new packaging technology, let iron phosphate batteries It can have a battery energy density similar to that of a ternary lithium battery, the same range, and a lower selling price. It is not like the Internet transmission. The return of iron phosphate batteries is a technological regression. In fact, the opposite is true. Each generation of battery changes is a technological upgrade.
At present, domestic electric vehicles generally choose ternary lithium batteries. Compared with lithium iron phosphate batteries, ternary lithium batteries have a higher energy density, which can basically reach 240Wh / kg, which is higher than the energy of lithium iron phosphate about 180Wh / kg. Density, but ternary lithium batteries are not as safe as lithium iron phosphate batteries due to their lively materials and low ignition points. Lithium iron phosphate batteries can cost less than ternary lithium batteries.
It is understood that as of the end of 2019, the unit price of domestic ternary lithium battery packs was 1.05 yuan / Wh; the unit price of lithium iron phosphate battery packs was 0.8 yuan / Wh. If Tesla uses lithium iron phosphate batteries this time, compared to the current battery used by Tesla, its cost will drop by about 10%. If a cheaper battery pack is used, it is expected to reduce Tesla's price by about 30,000 yuan. According to data calculations, lithium iron phosphate batteries can be up to about 20% cheaper than ternary lithium batteries.
According to BYD, China's largest manufacturer of new energy vehicles, starting from the middle of this year, its latest cobalt-free battery will be used in a new sport utility vehicle (SUV). BYD has stated in a statement that BYD SUV can travel more than 600 kilometers per charge and will use LFP batteries, which is equivalent to the driving mileage of nickel-cobalt batteries.
China is the world's largest new energy vehicle market. With the recovery of lithium iron phosphate batteries, it may indicate that it is difficult for battery technology to quickly leap forward to the next stage at this stage. It also indicates that Chinese companies will face more competition. The renewed interest in lithium batteries may not last long.
Although the lithium iron phosphate battery has "strongly come back", the focus of the lithium battery in the future will certainly not stop there. As a stage in the development of lithium batteries, whether the lithium iron phosphate battery can successfully turn around remains to be seen.
Ashlee Peng, March 7th, 2020