Application orientation and business model of the

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Thinking about the application positioning and business model of lithium iron phosphate battery

Abstract: LFP, which was once hot purple in China, can "turn stone into gold". I believe that many people now have very complex feelings about it. After experiencing ups and downs, where will the domestic LFP industry go? This problem is very realistic in front of everyone

Editor's note: lithium iron phosphate LFP, which was once hot purple in China, can "turn stone into gold". I believe that many people now have very complex feelings about it. After experiencing ups and downs, where will the domestic LFP industry go

lfp began to rise in the United States in 2003, and this wave quickly spread to China in 2004. The research and industrialization of LFP reached a climax in the world around 2008, but the research and industrialization of LFP in the United States began to cool down after 2010. In China, however, due to the "time difference" between China and the United States, the domestic LFP boom did not begin to cool down until the bankruptcy of A123 at the end of 2012

when discussing the development direction of LFP, we should first clarify the positioning of LFP. Only when the general direction is found, the whole LFP industrial chain can develop healthily. What are the advantages of LFP? Many people will say low cost, good safety and long cycle life. In my opinion, the advantage of LFP is only long cycle life, and the other two are specious. What about the disadvantages of LFP? Similarly, in the author's opinion, the biggest disadvantage of LFP is its low energy density. As for what low conductivity and low density are not the decisive factors

then I ask readers to think about the fundamental advantages of lithium-ion batteries over other secondary batteries? The author believes that the most prominent advantages of lithium battery are high energy density and long cycle life, which are determined by the essential characteristics of embedded reaction

we cannot insist that lithium batteries have advantages over water-based secondary batteries in terms of safety, magnification and temperature performance, which is also determined by the essential characteristics of embedded reactions based on organic systems

the author would like to emphasize here that the most fundamental reason for the so-called "good safety" of LFP batteries that Chinese people like to talk about is its low energy density. This is well understood from the most simple law of energy conservation, and the "safety" of LFP batteries is only in a relative sense

therefore, the development direction of lithium battery is to pay equal attention to "promoting the advantages" and "avoiding the disadvantages", but the first thing is to ensure "promoting the advantages". High energy density and long cycle life are the most fundamental "program" of lithium battery. If this point is clear, it is not difficult for us to understand that neither olivine nor Spinel Cathode materials can shake the dominant position of layered materials (LCO, NCM and NCA). The fundamental reason is that only layered materials have the two most basic characteristics of high energy density and long cycle life at the same time

generally speaking, LFP battery cannot meet the energy density requirements of PHEV and ev (pure electric vehicle), and LFP battery can only be used on HEV. Many colleagues in the domestic lithium battery industry have high hopes for the application of lithium iron phosphate power batteries in pure electric vehicles. In fact, most pure electric vehicles in China use LFP power batteries. Although there are many factors that the microscope can be used for the microscopic examination of glass slides, the author would like to emphasize here that LFP power batteries cannot be used in pure electric vehicles, which has been the consensus of the international electric vehicle industry, and this is also one of the most fundamental reasons for the bankruptcy of A123

for HEV, LMO, LFP and ternary materials can be used, and each has its own characteristics. After a simple analysis, we can see that in the future electric vehicle market, LFP is only one-third of the HEV hybrid vehicle market with NCM and LMO. The author personally believes that full mixing technology is feasible, but at this stage, LFP battery is more feasible for micro mixing and shallow mixing. The start/stop power supply for cars/motorcycles is also a large market, but the technical threshold in this field is high (low temperature performance needs to be passed), and manufacturers are also facing the pressure of how to further improve the cost performance and compete with lead acid. HEV applications need to use nano LFP to make high-power batteries to meet the requirements of low temperature and magnification performance

in addition to the application in HEV electric vehicles, the author believes that electric bicycles are also a large potential application field of LFP batteries. 90% of electric bicycles are now lead-acid batteries. In terms of the affordability of consumers, the cost of lithium batteries is still too high. However, it is only a matter of time before lithium batteries will replace lead-acid batteries in terms of environmental protection and performance. Unfortunately, there are almost no lithium iron phosphate electric bicycle products available in China

in my opinion, this is mainly because l F P has been a myth in China. I feel that I am "tall and tall", and I am specialized in making high-end electric vehicles. Of course, I disdain to make "low-end" electric bicycles. However, the author believes that China is just going to develop the LFP electric bicycle. On the one hand, it is the need of China's national conditions, on the other hand, it is also to accumulate experience and technology for the development of large-scale power batteries. In the field of electric bicycles, LFP batteries will face LMO competition. However, the author believes that LFP battery has greater technical advantages, but how to reduce the cost is still the primary problem. For electric bicycles, the energy density of batteries is more important, which requires the use of spherical micron LFP materials to improve the compaction density of electrodes

in the past two years, there has been a lot of hype about the application of LFP battery in the field of energy storage in China. In terms of energy storage, it is still lead-acid. However, due to the low energy density and cycle life of lead acid, coupled with environmental protection considerations, the proportion will certainly slowly decrease, but this will take a long time to achieve. At present, there are three new types of batteries that are more promising to be used in the field of energy storage, namely, liquid flow batteries, sodium sulfur batteries and lithium-ion batteries. These batteries have their own advantages and disadvantages, so I won't discuss them in detail here

the author personally believes that the current use of LFP batteries for energy storage in China is basically a government action, mainly to absorb a large number of LFP materials and battery overcapacity caused by the "boom" of electric vehicles. In short, it is to pay for the policy mistakes of lithium iron phosphate power battery technology route in the past decade. However, the author believes that the large-scale commercial application of LFP battery in energy storage still exists, which also brings greater economic and technical difficulties to the consumer enterprises of instruments

the current cost performance of LFP batteries cannot compete with lead acid. For example, the ex factory price of lead acid is about 0 6 yuan/wh, while the current ex factory price of LFP is generally 1 0 yuan/wh, and the product quality can not fully meet the actual use requirements, so at present, several domestic LFP battery energy storage projects are government demonstration projects

lfp batteries also need to be improved in technology. For example, the consistency of batteries will be very prominent after being grouped at the megawatt level, which will seriously reduce the service life and bring potential safety hazards. In addition, the high-temperature floating charge performance of LFP batteries is a great challenge. The author is optimistic that it will take more than five years for LFP batteries to be commercialized on a large scale in the field of energy storage

in the field of traditional 3C and electric tools that emphasize energy density, LFP has little possibility of application. Therefore, the author believes that LFP should focus on the application of HEV hybrid electric vehicles, electric bicycles and start/stop power supply in the short term, and consider entering the field of energy storage batteries in the medium and long term. I personally predict that LFP will account for 15% of the global market share of cathode materials by 2020, which is a very good achievement

after experiencing ups and downs, the market's confidence in LFP materials and LFP power batteries has undoubtedly been hit. Therefore, the unique appearance also gives the packaging more sense of design and recognition. I personally believe that the current LFP business model may have to undergo a great change in order to reverse the current decline. At present, there are more than 100 domestic registered LFP material enterprises, and about 20 or 30 enterprises have actual production capacity, and the actual production capacity utilization rate is less than 10%

according to statistics, the actual output of LFP materials in China in 2013 was about tons. Some power battery enterprises such as BYD were self-sufficient in materials, accounting for nearly half of the market share. The remaining twoorthree tons are divided up by dozens of domestic material enterprises, each of which may be less than 100 tons on average. Even the introduction of the smallest automated production line means that nearly 80% of the production capacity may be idle

therefore, the author believes that a deep reshuffle in the domestic LFP industry is inevitable. In the future, there will be no more than 10 LFP material enterprises that will eventually survive, and the production capacity will be highly concentrated in twoorthree manufacturers. The author personally believes that the development of China's LFP industry now requires one or two leading enterprises that can integrate the whole LFP industry chain, from LFP material production to LFP cell production to pack and BMS, to terminal applications (electric vehicles, electric bicycles, or energy storage, etc.). Otherwise, where is the LFP material market? Who is the manufacturer of LFP batteries sold to

although the author agrees that the whole industrial chain is not necessarily able to reduce the overall cost and maximize profits, in view of the special situation faced by the domestic LFP industry at present, the author believes that only the leading enterprises with a complete industrial chain can control the risk of LFP commercialization to the minimum. Only in this way can we reverse the current decline of LFP and lead the LFP industry to a healthy development path

in my opinion, BYD, Wanxiang A123 and ZTE are all working in this direction, but they still need to be bigger and stronger. The author hopes that China's LFP industry will get on track as soon as possible and usher in the spring of LFP development

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