Shortages of components, including chips as well as batteries, have been a major factor limiting the capacity of electric vehicle companies so far this year. In a weekend report, Chinese official media CCTV highlighted the battery shortage.
The importance of power batteries, the heart of new energy vehicles, cannot be overstated, and CATL’s share price has continued to rise in recent days, but behind this is a tight supply of batteries, the report said.
Xpeng Motors CEO He Xiaopeng personally waited a week at CATL to get the needed battery supply, the report said, citing previous media reports.
This is similar to what Chinese car companies did when the chip shortage was at its worst.
In late May this year, Changan Automobile said the company had been having executives in Shanghai to contact chipmakers in order to keep production operations on track.
“I heard that president Wang Jun even took a solution – he wouldn’t eat until the chips were provided – and after that move was used, it really solved the problem a little bit,” Changan chairman Zhu Huarong said at the time.
The latest CCTV report mentioned that CATL Chairman Robin Zeng said at a recent shareholder meeting that customers’ recent rush for goods was getting to be too much for him.
Ganfeng Lithium, a lithium battery maker in Xinyu, Jiangxi province, supplies a number of new energy vehicles, including the Tesla Model 3 and BYD Han.
From January to now, the company basically has 28 days of full production every month, said Huang Jingping, director of Ganfeng Power Battery Factory Quality Department.
In the face of the battery shortage, car companies have signed agreements with battery manufacturers in advance to ensure battery supply. Great Wall Motors signed a decade-long strategic cooperation framework agreement with CATL for power batteries in early June this year.
“Tight battery supply has been a common problem in the industry, and we have to make arrangements in advance, mainly to ensure a battery supply from CATL to Great Wall,” CCTV quoted Great Wall Motors sources as saying.
Market research firm SNE Research predicted that by 2023, global demand for power batteries for electric vehicles will reach 406 gigawatt hours (GWh), while power battery supply is expected to be 335 GWH, a shortfall of about 18 percent, according to the report.
By 2025, this gap will expand to about 40 percent, the report said.