Things About BMW i3 and More

My wife is a fan of BMW and wants a Bimmer as her next car. I suggest her to get an electric one and she really likes the idea. i3 is out there already. The car got a unique look. However, to us, it looks like anything but a BMW. I am pretty sure this is exactly what BMW hopes for, since i3 represents a new BMW brand – the BMW i.

(i3. Credit: BMW)
(i3. Credit: BMW)
(i3. Credit: BMW)
(i3. Credit: BMW)

The current generation came out in 2013. The all-electric model can go 81 miles on a charge, powdered by a 22 kWh battery and a 168 hp electric motor. With the range extender, the total range can reach 150 miles. The range extender is a small 647 cc engine (also in some BMW motorcycles). But unlike regular cars, the “motorcycle” engine operates as a generator and power the electric motor. With a 1.9 gallon gas tank, the engine can work for 69 miles on top of the electro-range.

i3 is BMW’s first mass-produced electric car, but the company already started to test out its electric technologies on the road as early as 2009. The first round is between 2009 and 2011, on Mini E, which is based on standard Mini Cooper with a 35 kWh lithium ion battery. After the leasing ended, most of them went back to BMW for testing, exhibition etc. Some batteries were repurposed into a 200 kWh storage system for smart grid, at BMW’s office in the San Francisco Bay Area. (Please see our post Second-life Applications Could Help Reduce the Cost of EV Batteries)

The second round of field trial is on BMW ActiveE, a model based on 1 Series. It took place in 2012-2014, through a 2-year lease program. The car has a 32 kWh battery. Again, the cars were collected back by BMW after the program.

Back to i3, it is slightly larger than 1 Series, but not as big as 3 Series. The MSRP is $42,400 for the all-electric model and $46,250 for the range-extended model. i3 is quite popular in the US, ranked at 4th place among electric cars in terms of units sold in 2015. And the car may not be as expensive as it seems like. There was a post online saying in California, the lease could have been as low as surprising $130/month with no money down, thanks to various rebates and incentives. On the other hand, it should also be taken into the equation the possible increase in car insurance as well as charger installation cost though.

Another thing, the 2017 model which should be coming out later this year is reported to receive a boost in electro-range to 120 miles.

(i8. Credit: BMW)
(i8. Credit: BMW)

i8 is the other current member of BMW i. it is a plug-in hybrid supercar with a 0-60 mph of 4.4 seconds. The battery in it is 7.1 kWh. It sells for $140,700 in the US. An i8 Spyder convertible version may also be produced in the future. (Please see our post Summary on Electric Vehicles at CES 2016)

And more are supposed to come into the i family, soon. i5 reportedly is coming close to the decision on body style – between a bigger i3 crossover and a regular-sized sedan. The debut can be later this year and the delivery next year.  It might be a plug-in hybrid with a total power of high 640 hp and electrorange of 78 miles, an article said. Furthermore, an i6 might also be in the pipeline, targeting for 2020.

BMW is apparently not limiting its electrification to only BMW i brand, but extending it to the BMW brand as well. The company is working on adding plug-in hybrid versions to all of its core-brand models.

2016 X5 xDrive40e and 2016 328e should be around already. 2016 330e  and 2016 X1 xDrive30e should come out later in the year. 740e may follow in late 2016. 530e, 540e and M3 can come out in 2017/2018 timeframe.

These plug-in hybrids have 13-25 miles as the electrorange. BMW also plans to double that range as its next-generation plug-in hybrid powertrains roll out around 2020.

(X5 xDrive40e. Credit: BMW)
(X5 xDrive40e. Credit: BMW)

Second-life Applications Could Help Reduce the Cost of EV Batteries

High battery cost keeps the cost of electric vehicles (EV) high. As a result, carmakers still are relying on government incentives to sell EVs at somewhat more acceptable price. It was recently reported on Forbes that the cost of battery pack in the new 200-mile Chevrolet Bolt would be significantly reduced to under $300/kWh (The packs will be supplied by LG Chem). It is interesting to notice that some existing battery replacement plans/warranties have already put the $/kWh well below 300.

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra drives the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV onto the stage Monday, January 11, 2016 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. GM Executive Vice President Product Development Mark Reuss rides in the passenger seat. The Bolt EV offers more than 200 miles of range on a full charge at a price below $30,000 after Federal tax credits. (Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for Chevrolet)
(Photo: Barra Drives Chevrolet Bolt EV Into NAIAS Spotlight, on January 11 2016. © General Motors.)

More than 3 years ago, Tesla introduced a warranty option to replace the 85 kWh battery pack for $12,000; That equals to $141/kWh. In 2014, the Chevrolet Volt 16 kWh battery pack was seen sold at $2,994.64 or $187/kWh. In the same year, Nissan announced the battery replacement plan for LEAF. The cost is $5,499 including $1,000 for trading-in the old battery. The $6,499 total cost leads to $271/kWh. (More data on cell/pack price can be found at our homepage.)

The gap in battery cost can be partly filled by the batteries’ second-life applications.

EVs have stringent requirements on their batteries. To name a few – 1) EV batteries need to be weigh/space efficient to fit into a car, meaning high energy densities; 2) EV batteries need to be cycled in wide SOC windows (60-80%) to drive a long enough range on one charge; 3) EV batteries need to be able to deliver enough (like 70-80%) energy as battery ages, so drivers do not get angry with decreasing range; 4) EV batteries need to be able to deal with difficult load conditions like acceleration and fast charging.

That being said, end-of-life EV batteries are not dead batteries really. They can still serve well in less stringent conditions anywhere from huge MWh front-of-the-meter grid stationary storage to tiny portable power bank for your phone.

In any of these cases, high energy density is no long a must, batteries can be cycled in a narrow SOC window, batteries can retain less energy and the load conditions can be relatively mild and constant.

In November 2015, Daimler announced the plan to build a 13 MWh grid storage unit in Germany. It uses repurposed batteries from the electric car Daimler smart. The project was claimed to be the largest of its kind (with second-life batteries).

Nissan partners with Green Charge Networks to reuse its EV batteries for electrochemical energy storage (EES) applications. The behind-the-meter battery system can store electricity when the demand is low and produce electricity as the demand spikes. So users can save on demand charges. There was rumor that these old batteries would cost around $100/kWh.

Tesla reportedly has plans to give its EV batteries a second life as well. The residential energy storage product Powerwall sells for $3,000 per unit of 7 kWh. Can there be second-life batteries utilized?

For now, second-life applications can help reduce the price for battery replacement. How they can benefit EV buyers from the very beginning can be a quite interesting area to explore.

Moreover, battery reliability during the life span of an all-electric car or a plug-in hybrid lacks enough real-life data to support, since most of popular models came in after 2010. There were reports on cars like Nissan LEAF that the energy retention after a few years of driving was better than originally projected. Whether these cars need to replace the battery at all or not still would be an open question. And this would have an impact on how we see used electric cars.

It feels like electric car is but only a new technology, but also can change many things in our lives when they prevail.


Looking forward to the Samsung Lithium-ion Battery Enabling 600 km Range

One of the key tasks for electric carmakers is to extend the range of the car. For example, Nissan Leaf has seen increase in electro-range (the range on only battery pack) over the years – 73 miles for the 2012 model and 107 miles for the latest 2016 model. Also, BMW plans to upgrade the battery pack in its i3 to enable 120 miles, up from the current 81 miles.

To date, the longest electro-range should belong to Tesla Model S 90D – 270 miles (or 432 km). The luxury electric car has a 90 kWh battery pack, with high-energy silicon blended in the anode of the batteries. (Please see our article The Cells in Tesla’s 90 kWh Model S that “Partially Use Silicon” – What Can They Be?) Besides, companies such as Mercedes-Benz are making efforts to reach 500 km.

Samsung SDI made the news recently at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. It exhibited a “low height pack” prismatic battery that can support a range of 600 km form the current 500 km. The boost in the range is a result of 20-30% increase in battery energy. However, the specific energy of the new battery is unknown to our knowledge. Samsung SDI is targeting year 2020 to start the production.

Electric cars can drive 3-4 miles on a single kWh. With that being said, the state-of-the-art battery packs can still go 370 miles (600 km). They just need to be bigger (and heavier), to deliver enough energy. Some back-of-the-envelope numbers: 106 kWh for 370 miles (by using 3.5 miles/kWh). In fact, it needs to be more than 106 kWh since the miles/kWh will drop when you carry a heavier battery pack. On this, as another example, VW BUDD-e concept car can only run 233 miles on its 101 kWh battery pack (EPA drive cycle), probably because it is heavier as a minivan.

This calculation is just easy on paper. It is hard to accommodate such a big battery pack in a sedan. The whole floor of Tesla Model S is used for the battery pack already. Larger vehicles (like minivans) may work, but themselves are heavy. Then we go back to a lower range… So, in a word, we probably need to improve the energy densities of batteries (meaning lighter and smaller but with the same energy), to go 600 km.

So, this should be what the new Samsung battery is about – high energy densities.

The specific energy of Samsung 60 Ah prismatic batteries can be around 130 Wh/kg (which are being used in BMW i3 right now). The 2017 i3 may use the 94 Ah batteries to get to 120 miles. Then the specific energy of the 94 Ah batteries could be around 190 Wh/kg.

Samsung has a roadmap to go to 250 Wh/kg by 2019. This time stamp matches the production of the battery for 600 km. Moreover, 250 Wh/kg is about 30% more than 190 Wh/kg. There are also discussions on a possible 120 Ah battery. So can the battery for 600 km be 120 Ah with a specific energy of 250 Wh/kg?

As compared, Panasonic 25 Ah prismatic batteries in current VW e-Golf can have a specific energy of 170 Wh/kg. It is reported that 2017 e-Golf will use 37 Ah batteries with 30% increase in range, so the specific energy could be around 220 Wh/kg.

Last year, Hitachi demonstrated 335 Wh/kg with 30 Ah prototype batteries and the company plans to produce them starting in 2020.

Panasonic, LG Chem and Samsung Invest Big in Electric Vehicle Batteries

Panasonic’s President Kazuhiro Tsuga confirmed during the recent CES 2016, that the company plans to invest up to $1.6 billion in the Tesla Gigafactory. The two companies signed an agreement on Gigafactory collabration back in July 2014.

Until this point, the general impression had been that Panasonic was cautious about pouring big chunk of money into the project. In Oct 2014, Kazuhiro Tsuga said that the company’s initial investment would be tens of billions of Japanese yen (hundreds of millions of US dollars) and there would be further installments of similar amounts. The Gigafactory was also reported to be 40% bigger than the original plan.

Gigafactory apparently is not the only move for Panasonic. In June, it laid out an investment plan worth 60 billion Japanese yen (or $514 million based on current rate) for automotive section, in this fiscal year ending March 2016.

In December of 2015, Panasonic also announced that it will build a new battery plant in Dalian, China. The investment was said to be 50 billion Japanese yen (or $428 million based on current rate). The plant is expected to start production in 2017 and be dedicated to EV batteries.

In line with the company’s increasing interest in EV battery market, Panasonic closed a battery plant in Beijing, in August 2015. The plant was running for 15 years already. Originally part of Sanyo, it became Panasonic after Sanyo was acquired in 2010. The shutdown reportedly cost 1,300 people to lose their jobs. This factory in Beijing was mainly producing batteries for old-fashioned cell phones and cameras.

Other giant battery makers are taking actions as well.

For example, LG Chem plans to invest a total of $3.5 billion in a battery plant in Nanjing, China. The construction of Phase 1 is already completed in October, 2015. It cost $500 million. After production starts, the plant is expected to supply batteries to 50 thousand all-electric cars and 180 thousand plug-in hybrids.

The Phase 1 plant is as large as 80 thousand square meters (or 0.86 million square feet). Although not even close to the size of Gigafactory, LG Chem does plan to add more capacity, a total of 4 times of the current capacity by 2020.

Moreover, LG Chem is interested in not just providing cells. For GM’s soon-to-come Chevrolet Bolt electric car (Please see our previous post on Summary on Electric Vehicles at CES 2016), LG Chem reportedly will build the battery management system, the motor and the power electronics as well.

Samsung SDI is also growing. EV battery is becoming one of the new focuses for Samsung Group.  Samsung Group sold its petrochemical and defense units in 2014 and its chemical business in 2015. On the other hand, Samsung SDI acquired Magna International’s battery pack business in 2015. A new battery plant in Xi’an, China will also go into production this year. The capacity is enough for 40 thousand electric cars. Samsung SDI is expected to invest $600 million in total in this project by 2020.

Summary on Electric Vehicles at CES 2016

The International Consumer Electronics Show 2016 (CES 2016) took place in Las Vegas from 1/6 to 1/9. The presence of electric vehicles (EVs) have been growing over the past years (not counting the already numerous new in-car products that go into the EVs). This year, GM CEO Mary Barra and VW Passenger Cars CEO Herbert Diess went there and unveiled new EVs from the two companies respectively.

  1. Bolt from GM

It is GM’s first 200-mile all-electric car (the exact EPA range rating is not available yet). The car will be available towards the end of 2016 (model year 2017) and with a MSRP of $37,500 before any incentives.

Mary Barra did not disclose much on the specs during CES 2016, but now we know a few things from the Detroit Auto Show. The battery size is 60 kWh with a specific energy of about 138 Wh/kg. (Please find more data on specific energy on our homepage.) The electric motor can generate 150 kW (or 200 horsepower). The 0-60 mph acceleration probably takes less than 7 seconds.

As for the fast charging, Bolt can use 50 kW CCS charger for a boost of 90 miles worth in 30 minutes.

  1. BUDD-e concept from VW

It is a concept all-electric minivan with an EPA range of 233 miles. BUDD-e is modelled on the 1960s’ classic VW Bulli (also known as the Hippie Bus).

It has a 101 kWh battery. The cell format is yet to be decided; It can be 37 Ah, or the developing 60 Ah, or even something better.

Fast charging definitely will be an option, something like 30 mins to 80% SOC. It will use CCS charging protocol. High-voltage 800V charger is in discussion right now, which makes sense considering the big battery size.

  1. e-Golf Touch from VW

The special feature on this version of e-Golf is that there is a new generation of infotainment system equipped. The system includes a big screen and enables gesture control.

In terms of the performance improvement on 2017 e-Golf, there can a 30% increase in range from the current 83 miles EPA rating. VW will start to use cells with higher capacity than the previous ones (37 Ah vs. 25 Ah) but similar volume.

  1. FFZero1 concept from Faraday Future

The concept electric supercar was one of the hottest topics associated with CES 2016. It is designed to just fit the driver. The acceleration is pretty fast – <3 seconds from 0 to 60 mph. There is a helmet for the drive to get water and oxygen. It also features mirrorless architecture.

The car has “aero tunnels” to improve aerodynamics as well as to keep the batteries in operating temperature range. Other than this, very little is known on its battery system.

  1. Focus RS and Fusion from Ford

Focus RS is a much anticipated car, which is expected to feel like driving a GT but with a low price tag. It features a 2.3L EcoBoost engine with start-stop technology – so a microhybrid car.

Another Ford car on display was Fusion. 2017 models include a hybrid and another plug-in hybrid Energi. The electro-range of Energi is expected to remain at 19 miles.

  1. i8 Spyder concept from BMW

This is the convertible version of the plug-in hybrid i8. It features the i Future Interaction concept including the gesture control system AirTouch. BMW also presented the concept of Mirrorless technology on the standard i8.

  1. EHang 184 concept from EHang

It is not a conventional electric vehicle, because it is a human-flying quadcopter drone. However, it is also called “Autonomous Aerial Vehicle”, powered by battery. The drone can fit one person inside and fly 23 minutes with an average speed of 100 km/h (or 62 miles/h). The maximum power is 106 kW and the energy consumption for one trip is 14.4 kWh. (Please read our previous article Nice Concept EHang 184 Human-flying Electric Drone Calls for a Better Battery.)

Nice Concept EHang 184 Human-flying Electric Drone Calls for a Better Battery

One of the nice surprises during CES 2016 ought to be the claimed first ever concept drone that can autonomously fly a human being – the EHang 184.

It is essentially a quadcopter with a big enough cabin. According to the specs on the company’s website, there are two 1.5m propellers loaded on each shaft, 8 in total. The cabin is roughly 2 meters high and 1 meter wide, quite roomy for a person.

Inside the cabin, it’s got a good-looking seat and a 12-inch touchscreen stretching to the front. There are features like air conditioning, 4G network, a trunk for up to 16-inch luggage, a reading light and a downward camera. This thing can hover for 23 minutes and fly at an average speed of 100 km/h (or 62 miles/h). It translates into roughly 38 km or 24 miles in distance.

Now let us talk about different scenarios for the battery. Our starting point is the 14.4 kWh needed for a trip and the 106 kW maximum output, from the specs online.

One scenario would be to use a battery of just 14.4 kWh. Based on the specific energy  data of current lithium-ion battery packs in electric cars (available at our homepage), a 14.4 kWh battery pack most likely weigh more than 100 kg. For example, the newly released Chevrolet Bolt electric car from GM has a 60 kWh battery which is as heavy as 435 kg.

The net weight of EHang 184 is 200 kg. Can half of the weight come from the battery for drones?

Even if the answer is yes, there certainly is room for batteries to improve. United State Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC, formed by Fiat Chrysler, Ford and GM) set a goal of 235 Wh/kg for battery packs by the year of 2020. Then the 14.4 kWh would weigh around 60 kg.

Now say EHang can carry the 14.4 kWh battery around. Pulling 106 kW out of it can be another issue. The Chevy Bolt 60 kWh battery’s power is 150 kW –  a power-to-energy ratio of 2.5. In this scenario for EHang 184, the power-to-energy ratio is over 7.

Actually there is high-power batteries on the market, like the Microvast LpCo batteries. They can have a power-to-energy ratio of 4, but at the sacrifice of the specific energy, meaning the batteries are much heavier at the same energy.

As another scenario, say the drone needs 20% additional energy reservoir (it probably should), then the battery size is 17.3 kWh. It leaves 80 kg for other components of the drone. And still, the power-to-energy ratio is too high.

What if we keep the power-to-energy ratio and the power requirement at 4 and 106 kW respectively? Then we need a 26.5 kWh battery. The mass of this battery will be very close to 200kg already.

As we can see, EHang 184 put quite some pressure on the battery technology, namely higher specific energy so batteries can weigh less, and higher power-to-energy ratio so batteries can output more power. These (and many other parameters like cost, safety and temperature tolerance) are in line with the current demand on battery performance from the car industry.

EHang 184 looks like a nice technical concept with good market outlook. Maybe we should build such a battery to make it fly.

Uber and Guangzhou Automobile Form Strategic Partnership in China – Electric Cars a Focus

Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. (GAC) announced that it has become a strategic investor of Uber China in Dec. 21, 2015. The investment amount was undisclosed. This can be part of Uber China’s (ongoing maybe) Series B round fundraising, with a valuation of $6-7 billion. Moreover, Uber filed documents for a $2.1 billion Series G round fundraising on Dec. 3, 2015, which could lead to a value of $64.6 billion afterwards.

GAC is controlled by Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group, which is a Fortune Global 500 company (ranked at No. 362 in 2015, with revenues of $33.237 billion in 2014). GAC’s revenues in the first 3 quarters of 2015 are $2.92 billion (or 18.95 billion yuan), increased by 21.2% as compared with the same period of 2014. The company also has joint ventures with carmakers such as Honda, Toyota and Fiat in China.

Uber and GAC will collaborate on promoting electric cars, besides investment, sales and marketing. GAC currently produces an electric SUV Trumpchi GS4 EV and a range-extended electric sedan (a type of plug-in hybrid) Trumpchi GA5 REV. Trumpchi GS4 EV has an electro-range (a car’s range on electric) of 150 miles (or 240 km) while Trumpchi GA5 REV’s electro-range is 50 miles (or 80 km). The carmaker will start to sell another 2 models in 2016 as well – plug-in hybrid sedan Trumpchi GA3S PHEV and SUV GS4 PHEV.

This partnership is believed to benefit GAC in terms of fast growth in the market of new energy cars, both domestically and globally. In first half of 2015, GAC was ranked at No. 3 in China in terms of the number of plug-in hybrid electric cars produced but was outside of top 10 for electric cars. On the other hand, the partnership can help Uber building up an environmental-friendly image. As a company offering ridesharing services, it has direct relevance to greenhouse gas emissions and our ecosystems, in a positive way. According to US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), transportation accounts for 27% of US greenhouse gas emissions and 90% of the fuel in this category consists of gasoline and diesel.

Uber, in March 2015, put a first fleet of 25 electric cars on the road of Chicago, in collaboration with Green Wheels and BYD. The electric cars are BYD e6, with a real-world range of about 140 miles.

A New Tesla Car Will Be First Released in Korea in 2016?

There are reports recently from Korea and China saying that Tesla is releasing a “Model E” in Jeju Island of Korea in 2016. The information online indicated that the price would be $35,655 before government incentives and the car could drive up to 320 km (equals to 198.8 miles) with a 48 kWh battery equipped.

The price and mileage disclosed resembles the expected specs for the upcoming Tesla Model 3, which will be shown to the public in March 2016 (probably during the Geneva Motor Show) and start production in 2017 according to the CEO Elon Musk. The battery of Model 3 is largely speculated at 50-60 kWh at this point to our best knowledge and may come from Tesla Gigafactory.

Tesla in 2014 considered naming its Gen III model as Model E and filed a trademark application. However, later the company abandoned the application. Ford filed a similar application to trademark Model E a few months after Tesla and sticks with the application later on. Tesla then named the new car Model 3 (maybe with three horizontal bars to represent).

So, can the “Model E” for Jeju be the “Model 3”? Regarding the trademark registration, US and Korea both are members of the Madrid Protocol treaty, which permits the holders of US applications and/or registrations to extend their rights to more than 80 country members. The trademark applicants do need to fill requests for this extension through the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In this regard, a different company could still have trademarked Model E in Korea.

We will be waiting for official information from Tesla and maybe its Korean office – Tesla Korea Limited (which was registered on Nov. 13, 2015) After all, one report on the Jeju “Model E” mentioned also that the car would be released in the US and other countries in early 2016 as well, and the “Model E” photo in that report looked like Tesla Model X indeed. Or maybe the wording “release” in the report simply meant the start of taking orders. This would agree with the timeline Elon Musk has conveyed.  Regardless, it would be interesting to see how close the numbers – $35,655 for the price and 48 kWh for the battery energy – can be to those of Model 3 after the car comes out.

Korea can be an important market for Tesla. The CTO JB Straubel in November 2015 described that Tesla was “committed” to and saw a “great potential” in this market, during the Energy Korea Forum. A Model 3 crossover and a Model Y may also be in the pipeline.

Top 10 Rankings on EV Battery Manufacturers and Battery Material Suppliers in China – Part 3

China is one of the most important markets for new energy vehicles. This is the Part 3 of the report on 2015 Top 10 Lists on electric car (EV) lithium-ion battery (LIB) manufacturers and cathode material, anode material, electrolyte and separator suppliers in China, released by CCID Consulting and (Please also see Part 1 and Part 2)

Electrolyte Suppliers

China produced more than half of the electrolyte in the world in recent years (for example, the percentage was 51.7% in 2012). In 2014, 42 thousand tons were sold. The production was estimated at over 50 thousand tons in 2015.

  1. Capchem

Current production capacity is 10 thousand tons/year. Planned total capacity will be 45 thousand tons/year. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $26.2 million (or 0.17 billion yuan), increased by 18.39% as compared with the same period in 2014. The customers include Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, Lishen, BYD, BAK and Coslight. The company sells chemicals for capacitors as well. In 2014, R&D expenses were 4.61% of the revenue.

  1. Tinci

Current production capacity is 12 thousand tons/year (including 5 thousand tons at Kaixin, acquired in 2014). Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $11.6 million (or 75 million yuan). Tinci supplies electrolyte products to customers such as Guoxuan, Wanxiang A123, Coslight, BYD and Sony. 5.1% of the revenue from the first half of 2015 was put into R&D. It also makes lithium hexafluorophosphate (LiPF6) currently at 1,000 tons/year and plans to expand to 4,000 tons/year soon. The company can see significant growth in profit thanks to the recent price jump of battery raw materials. (Please see our previous article on Lithium-ion Battery Supply Chain Alert! Hot New Energy Vehicle Market in China Drives Demand (and Price) High on Raw Materials)

  1. Smooth Way

Current production capacity is 7 thousand tons/year. Another 5 thousand tons/year are planned. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $13.1 million (or 85 million yuan). ATL is the company’s major customer.

  1. Guotai-Huarong

Current production capacity is 10 thousand tons/year. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $27.7 million (or 0.18 billion yuan). The company was among the first manufacturers in China to mass produce the electrolyte. Its customers include ATL, Lishen, LG and Panasonic. Cathode materials can be its next line of products.

  1. Jinniu

Current production capacity is 5 thousand tons/year. Revenue in 2014 is $30.8 million (or 0.2 billion yuan). Jinniu started to develop LiPF6 earlier than other competitors in China and is among the first to commercialize it. Now it is facing competitions from Do-Fluoride and Tinci. In the first half of 2015, it made 700 tons of the salt, all of which are for its own electrolyte. The percentage of R&D investment in revenue is kept high at about 8% in recent year.

The rest of the Top 10 list on electrolyte suppliers includes Kaixin, Shanshan Battery Material, JGHITEC, KUNLUNCHEM and BICR.

Separator Suppliers

Separator production in China accounted for 48% of the global production in 2014.

  1. Mingzhu

Current production capacity is 50 million square meters/year. The capacity will ramp up to 140 million square meters/year by 2017. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $10.8 million (or 70 million yuan). Its customers include BYD and CALB.

  1. Senior

Current production capacity is 80 million square meters/year. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $23.1 million (or 0.15 billion yuan). As one of the biggest separator suppliers in China, Senior’s customers include LG Chem, BYD, Lishen, CALB and Guoxuan. It is among a few Chinese companies that supply to major battery manufacturers overseas.

  1. Zhongke

Current production capacity is 100 million square meters/year. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $27.7 million (or 0.18 billion yuan). Zhongke is one of the first separator companies in China. Its products (with the brand of Green) are leading the industry in terms of square meters sold. The list of its customers covers the majority of battery makes in China.

  1. BNE

Current production capacity is 72 million square meters/year and the capacity will be expanded into 110 million square meters/year. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $9.2 million (or 60 million yuan). Its customers include CALB and Coslight. Newly founded in 2010, BNE grows in a fast pace and was evaluated at $138.6 million (or 0.9 billion yuan) in 2014.

  1. HongTu

Current production capacity is 20 million square meters/year and a 45 million-square meter plant is under construction. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $3.1 million (or 20 million yuan). It supplies the separator to companies like Lishen and will enter Samsung and Wanxiang A123 as well.

The rest of the Top 10 list on separator suppliers includes DG, Jinhui, Yuntianhua Niumi (website not available), FSDH (website note available), Huiqiang.

Top 10 Rankings on EV Battery Manufacturers and Battery Material Suppliers in China – Part 2

China is one of the most important markets for new energy vehicles. This is the Part 2 of the report on 2015 Top 10 Lists on electric car (EV) lithium-ion battery (LIB) manufacturers and cathode material, anode material, electrolyte and separator suppliers in China, released by CCID Consulting and (Please also see Part 1 and Part 3)

Cathode Material Suppliers

China is a leading county for producing cathode materials for LIB. It produced 23,730 tons in Q2/2015, or a 41.3% increase over the same period of 2014.

  1. Shanshan New Material

Current production capacity is 15 thousand tons/year. The production will ramp up to 30 thousand tons/year by 2016. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $157.1 million (or 1.02 billion yuan) and the profit increases by 100% as compared with the same period of 2014. Its customers include ATL, BYD, Lishen and LG Chem. Shanshan Corporation owns Shanshan New Material for cathode, Shanshan Tech for anode and Shanshan Battery Material for electrolyte.

  1. Pulead

Production capacity was 15 thousand tons/year by 2014. Revenue in 2014 is $115.5 million (or 0.75 billion yuan). Peking University is one founding party of the company. Products include lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2, or LCO), lithium nickel cobalt manganese oxide (LiNixCoyMnzO2 x+y+z=1, or NCM) and lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4, or LFP). Customers include ATL, CATL, Lishen and Coslight.

  1. Reshine

Current production capacity is 15 thousand tons/year. Revenue in 2014 is $223.4 million (or 1.45 billion yuan). Products include LCO, NCM and precursors. Reshine is among the first Chinese cathode manufacturers who entered the global market and supplies the materials to battery makers such as Samsung, LG Chem, SK Innovation and Toshiba.

  1. Jinhe (website not available)

Current production capacity is 9 thousand tons/year for cathode materials and 16 thousand tons/year for precursors. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $49.3 million (or 0.32 billion yuan). It makes NCM and lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (LiNi0.8Co0.15Al0.05O2, or NCA). The customers include Samsung, LG Chem, ATL, CATL and Lishen.

  1. Easpring

Current production capacity is 9 thousand tons/year. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $52.4 million (or 0.34 billion yuan). It’s also a first Chinese supplier to export the cathode materials. Its major products are LCO and NCM. In 2014, Easpring started to develop NCA with Korean company GS Energy. Customers include BYD, BAK, Lishen, ATL, Samsung, SK Innovation, LG Chem, Panasonic, Sony and Toshiba. It produces 6 thousand tons of anode materials a year as well.

The rest of the Top 10 list on cathode material suppliers includes Tungsten , B&M, Kelong, Changyuan Lico and Zhenhua (website not available).

Anode Material Suppliers

China and Japan are two major anode producers. In 2014, China produced 51.6 thousand tons of anode materials, which equals to a 47.43% increase over 2013.

  1. BTR

Current production capacity is 30 thousand tons/year. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $104.8 million (or 0.68 billion yuan). BTR is the major supplier for Samsung, LG Chem, SK Innovation and Panasonic. It reacts fast on technology upgrade. One example is that the company stays at the front of the commercialization of high-energy silicon anode materials.

  1. Shanshan Tech

Current production capacity is 15 thousand tons/year. Another expansion of 35 thousand tons/year is underway. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $63.2 million (or 0.41 billion yuan). Shanshan Tech is a subsidiary of Shanshan Corporation. It is a leading supplier on artificial graphite and also is developing silicon, soft carbon and lithium titanate (Li4Ti5O12, or LTO). Customers include LG Chem, Sony, ATL and Lishen.

  1. Shinzoom

Current production capacity is 10 thousand tons/year. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $5.1 million (or 32.8 million yuan). Graphite materials are its major products. The company also is developing silicon carbon composites, hard carbon and soft carbon. Customers include BYD and CATL. One of Shinzoom’s investors is Easpring.

  1. Zichen

Current production capacity is 10 thousand tons/year. The company plans to increase the production capacity to 40 thousand tons/year. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $15.4 million (or 0.1 billion yuan). Zichen is ATL’s major supplier. The products are mainly used in high-capacity LIBs.

  1. Sinuo

Current production capacity is 8 thousand tons/year. Revenue in 2015 is $12.3 million (or 80 million yuan). Sinuo is focused on artificial graphite products and trying to supply to major battery manufacturers.

The rest of the Top 10 list on anode material suppliers includes CHNM , Zeto, HGL, Hirong and Kimwan.