As battery cell prices slide following declining demand in the automotive and energy storage markets, some players have already dropped out of the increasingly heated competition in China. For 2024, industry watchers predict another wave of battery companies going bust in the first half of the year, while those that remain will increasingly have their sights aimed abroad as governments increase investments in the area.
China has seen plenty of EV companies emerge and the competition between car parts suppliers grows intense. Supply chain sources said if a component maker cannot offer indispensable products, it will have difficulty surviving in the Chinese market.
Japan-based TDK will set up its first manufacturing facility in India, supplying battery cells for iPhones made locally. The latest development highlights Apple suppliers' accelerating pace in investing in India.
China has imposed stricter export controls on graphite, a critical EV battery material, since December 1. Many Japan-based companies relying on China's raw materials have been diversifying their supply chains and purchasing from other countries to reduce risks.
The US government released guidance on EV batteries and materials sourcing, mainly targeting China. Starting in 2024 and 2025, EVs will not be eligible for tax credits provided by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) if they contain battery components and materials from a foreign entity of concern (FEOC).
Tesla officially launched the long-waited Cybertruck on November 30, with three configurations available. The cheapest rear-wheel model has a price tag of US$60,990, over 50% more than the company had marketed. Tesla will start deliveries in 2024 and 2025.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) in Singapore recently announced that it will grow the country's electric bus fleet. The agency plans to spend SGD221.5 million (US$166 million) on the project, with SGD166.4 million designated for purchasing 360 single-decker buses with three doors and the rest for charging system deployment at three bus stations.
Supply chain experts note a deceleration in major carmakers' investments in electric vehicle (EV) self-production projects. This shift is attributed not only to considerations of policy impacts on demand but also to the emergence of "alternative solutions."
Toyota Motor and its two affiliates, Toyota Industries and Aisin plan to sell 10% of their stakes in Denso, the world's second-largest tier-1 automotive supplier. The move likely aims to bring in more cash for the Japanese automaker as it catches up in the EV sector.
Infineon said it has secured more long-term contracts for automotive semiconductors, including MCUs and power semiconductors. The company accounts for the largest share of the automotive semiconductor market.
Europe will see another battery plant come online in 2026. China-based battery maker Gotion High-tech and Slovak startup InoBat plans to build a battery factory in Slovakia. The facility will initially have an annual production capacity of 20GWh.
Sweden-based battery maker Northvolt announced that it has developed sodium-ion batteries. The cost-effective technology can support deploying energy storage systems (ESS). In addition, China-based BYD plans to invest CNY10 billion (US$1.4 billion) in producing sodium-ion battery systems for micro EVs.
To accelerate the realization of new energy applications and promote Taiwan's new energy transformation, five major domestic industry associations —Taiwan Advanced Automotive Technology Development Association (TADA), Taiwan IoT Technology and Industry Association (TwIoTA), Taiwan Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Partnership, Taiwan Battery Association (TBA), and Taiwan Green Energy Association (TGEA)—signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for collaboration on November 22. The signing ceremony, held in the presence of Stan Shih, founder of Acer and honorary chairman of the Major League IoT of the ASVDP (Asia Silicon Valley Development Plan), witnessed industry leaders expressing their aspirations for collaborative efforts.
Volkswagen Group has begun production at its first 100% owned battery plant in China. Volkswagen (Anhui) Components (VWAC) will produce high-voltage battery systems to support the carmaker's battery EVs locally.
Chang Sheng-shih, chairman of Taiwan-based Advanced Lithium Electrochemistry (Aleees), said on November 21 that the company has been licensing patents to non-Chinese lithium battery material manufacturers worldwide. Aleees produces LFP battery materials and licenses lithium intellectual property (IP). It aims to claim a market share of 300,000 tonnes of LFP cathode material by 2030.
At the Global Corporate Sustainability Forum (GCSF 2023), TCC, Foxwell Power, and APh ePower demonstrated their varied strategies and ongoing involvement in green energy storage, underscoring their crucial contributions to the transformation of Taiwan's energy sector.
After a two-month pause on its battery project in Michigan, Ford said it has scaled back the plan and is ready to proceed. The battery factory, which will license CATL's technology, now has an annual production capacity of 20GWh, a nearly 43% decrease from what was planned.
European automaker Stellantis and Chinese battery giant CATL announced that they have signed a non-binding MoU for the LFP battery supply in Europe. The pair is also considering building a joint battery plant in the region.
Electric-vehicle maker Nio Inc. and Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. signed an agreement to cooperate on battery swapping, the latest in a trend of Chinese EV upstarts partnering with traditional automakers.
With the development of electronic manufacturing and electric vehicles (EVs), India, which heavily relies on imported raw materials, has recently started taking corrective measures through initiatives integrating efforts from private enterprises and academia, aiming for self-reliance in raw materials supplies, a move aligning with the US goal of establishing resilient supply chains independent of China.
China-based battery maker Gotion High-tech recently signed an MoU with UK EV charging service provider Pod Point. The pair aims to integrate solar and other renewable energy sources to develop home energy storage systems (ESS).
As EV and energy storage system sectors have proliferated in recent years, those with battery resources are more likely to dominate markets. However, the battery industry has seen things change since the EV market is expected to experience a stronger headwind next year. Companies that have battery advantages may not create an edge.