The fate of the car battery is in the hands of electric cars (middle)

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If the Nissan-Renault Group announced plans to produce 500,000 units in 2012, the annual battery production will reach 12GWh, which is comparable to the current 15GWh of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries for portable devices (Figure 3). It is estimated that the annual output of Sanyo Electric, which ranks first in the field of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, is about 3GWh, and only Nissan-Renault Group will use four times as many batteries.

Figure 3: Battery market that will change due to EV sales
The Nissan-Renault Group has set a target of selling 500,000 EVs in 2012. This will create a market of almost the same size as current lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. The picture is based on a presentation by McKinsey & Company and Sanyo Electric.

China and the United States support the country

Since the vehicle battery will play an important role in the automotive industry in the future, China and the United States will build a lithium-ion rechargeable battery production base with the help of the state. The US government has implemented huge financing with the goal of mass production from 2011 to 2012.

The six companies of Johnson Controls, A123 Systems, KD ABG MI, Compact Power, EnerDel and Saft America accepted financing based on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ( 3) . Half of the funds used to establish the production base are subsidized by the government. In addition, Nissan Motors acquired $1.4 billion in financing under the Energy Independence and Security Act to build the base for producing EV and EV batteries mentioned above in the United States.

Note 3) In addition to Johnson Controls and Saft's cooperation in the automotive lithium-ion rechargeable battery business, Compact Power is also the local legal entity of LG Chem in Korea.

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In China, BYD, Tianjin Lishen Battery Co., Ltd. and BAK Battery are recognized by the government as lithium-ion rechargeable battery manufacturers, and large-scale mass production plans are currently underway.

Faced with this situation, Japanese manufacturers who have been occupying a high share of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries for portable products have had to think about future countermeasures. Among Japanese manufacturers, Sanyo Electric has strengthened its relationship with Toyota by becoming a subsidiary of Panasonic. It is believed that this may affect the trade relationship between the automakers and Sanyo Electric.

Sony, which has a high share in the portable device market, just announced its involvement in the large-size battery field that had been refused to enter at the end of 2009, and it started very late in the automotive field. In addition, Hitachi Maxell, which has a share of approximately 5% in the portable device market, has established a partnership with Hitachi, Ltd. to establish Hitachi Vehicle Energy to enter the automotive battery business. However, because Hitachi Vehicle Energy has always used lithium-ion rechargeable batteries for HEVs as its main business, there are actually no large orders other than batteries for General Motors (GM) HEVs.

Japanese manufacturers are obsessed with the independence of domestic production, so there are few production bases in other countries. Local procurement is the basic principle of the automotive industry, but large battery manufacturers in Japan lack this concept. Therefore, it is necessary for Japanese manufacturers to make bold strategic changes, such as capital cooperation with battery manufacturers in the US, Europe and China, and actively carry out local production.

Diversified unit shapes and materials, Toyota uses NCA materials

The popularity of EVs has greatly affected car battery manufacturers. On the LLBCTA (Large Lithium Ion Battery Technology and Applications) conference held at the AABC (Advanced Automotive Battery Conference 2010) conference held in Orlando, Florida, May 17-21, 2010 The cell shape and material type of the fixed-cell lithium-ion rechargeable battery are still not confirmed. 4) .

Note 4) AABC 2010 was held on May 18-21, 2010, and LLIBTA was held as a joint meeting on May 17-18.

Regarding the unit shape of the battery, a cylindrical unit (a diameter of 18 mm × a length of 65 mm, that is, "18650") used in a notebook computer is required, and the call for standardizing the external dimensions is relatively high. In this regard, the relevant manufacturers of automobile manufacturers have expressed their own views on the fact that the shape of the unit in the mobile phone market is different, and it is difficult to standardize the external dimensions.

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Moreover, the shape of the units of various companies is currently different, and there are cylindrical, square and laminated types. The opinions of the companies are not consistent with which shape is finally adopted. Among them, most of the opinions of automobile manufacturers are "square or laminated type is more suitable for vehicle use". The square unit has been used in Toyota's "Prius Plug-in Hybrid" and Mitsubishi's i-MiEV, etc. The laminated type has been used for Nissan's green leaves and GM's "Volt" (Table 1).

Although the square type unit has the advantages of high production efficiency and high strength of the outer casing itself, it is considered that the inner peripheral portion of the wound electrode is difficult to dissipate heat and is likely to cause deterioration. On the other hand, the laminate type has the advantages of less thermal deterioration and weight reduction, but the sealing portion is likely to leak electrolyte and water, and the reliability thereof is doubtful. Regarding whether the square or laminate type is used, the evaluation of each automobile manufacturer will remain inconsistent in the future. (To be continued, reporters, Ho Jizhi)

â– Japanese original text: the battery life of the car

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