During the China NEV Development High-Level Forum on September 23, Wang Chuanfu, Chairman of major Chinese automobile and battery maker BYD, said that the firm will adhere to the parallel development of pure electric and hybrid technology.
According to Wang, “Pure electric vehicles mainly solve the demand from some users who want to buy an additional car, while plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) effectively serve families who need to buy their first car or replace the existing one. The reform brought by PHEVs is relatively mild, with the least impact on industrial chain and supply chain, which not only promotes the rapid development of new energy vehicles, but also ensures the stability of industrial chain and supply chain during the reform period.”
In addition, Wang said that the firm would stick to the development route of lithium iron phosphate batteries. Previously, ternary batteries accounted for a relatively high proportion in the market. In the past two or three years, more and more car companies have chosen to carry lithium iron phosphate batteries. On the one hand, the materials for this type of battery do not include precious metals, and the cost advantages are obvious. On the other hand, related technology has made great progress in recent years, and battery enterprises are constantly innovating.
In terms of Chinese lithium resources, Wang said, “Many lithium mines have been discovered in China. The mining is not so fast, but the market is growing rapidly and there is a tight supply. China’s lithium resources are generally enough to meet the production needs for more than 300 million electric cars in the country.” Since the beginning of this year, raw battery materials have been in short supply and prices have risen sharply. Therefore, battery enterprises have begun to speed up their layout in the upstream field.
After the failure of its lithium mine project in Chile, BYD has been looking for other lithium mines. It plans to build a comprehensive development and utilization production base in Yichun, Heilongjiang Province with an annual production capacity of 30GWh and an annual output of 100,000 tons of battery-grade lithium carbonate and ceramic soil (lithium-containing). The total investment is 28.5 billion yuan ($4 billion).
In addition to BYD, many Chinese power batteries like CATL and Gotion Hi-Tech have also laid out lithium mine businesses in Yichun. Besides, CALB reached a strategic cooperation agreement and a lithium carbonate supply agreement with Tianqi Lithium in the first half of this year. Two power battery companies including SVOLT, EVE Energy and lithium mining company Sichuan Chemical Co., Ltd. signed a cooperation agreement in Chengdu, announcing that they will set up a joint venture to invest in the construction of a 30,000-ton-per-year lithium compound project in Sichuan Province to speed up its layout in the local lithium battery industry.