China mulling CNY6 billion to boost all-solid-state battery R&D

Peng Chen, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Gotion High-tech unveils its all-solid-state battery in mid-May. Credit: Gotion

The Chinese government will likely take action to retain the country's leading position in the battery sector. State-owned media reported that China may offer CNY6 billion (US$844 million) to six major battery and EV makers to facilitate all-solid-state battery R&D.

Sources told China Daily that the industry-first project will concentrate on seven technical categories, including polymer- and sulfide-based all-solid-state batteries (ASSB). CATL, BYD, China FAW Group, SAIC Motor, WeLion New Energy Technology, and Geely Auto Group will likely share the government fund to accelerate the R&D of the new battery technology.

Academics said the government support would expedite investments in ASSBs across the supply chain and could enable a trillion-Yuan market, China Daily reported.

ASSBs boast higher energy density, enhanced safety, and a faster charging speed compared to lithium-ion batteries with liquid electrolytes. The new battery has also been viewed as a way to create further momentum for the Chinese battery industry.

After scaling up for 10 years, the world's largest battery-producing country has encountered issues like overproduction and intense domestic price competition.

Ouyang Minggao, a Tsinghua University professor and a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said in January this year that EV batteries' energy density and production costs improved in the past decade. However, battery prices have been falling and only a few companies have earned profits.

China-based EV companies and battery manufacturers have been developing their ASSB technology. Volkswagen-backed Gotion High-tech disclosed its ASSB product, Gemstone, two weeks ago. The company said it will likely begin small-volume production in 2027 and mass production in 2030, CnEVPost reported.

Leading battery maker CATL also said in April that it plans to start small-volume production of ASSBs by 2027. EV makers GAC said its vehicles will be equipped with the new battery in 2026. SAIC said it targets 2026 to begin mass production of ASSBs.

The CNY6 billion investment is not the first effort that the Chinese government placed on ASSBs. In January 2024, the government, academia, battery companies, and EV makers established the China All-Solid-State Battery Collaborative Innovation Platform (CASIP).

The battery consortium, which includes CATL, BYD, Nio, and other industry players, aims to set up an ASSB supply chain by 2030.