The alternative energy vehicle market in China is accelerating rapidly, with production of alternative energy automobiles set to increase 55% in 2015, according to China market experts CCM. This boom is fuelling the growth of several upstream industries, and none more so than the power lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery industry, which is enjoying rapid growth in China. In particular, CCM believes that the PVDF-coated Li-ion battery separator is a very promising product.
The Twenty-First Century has been kind to the Li-ion battery industry. First, the increasing ubiquity of consumer electronic devices such as smartphones sent revenue soaring – between 2003 and 2013, global Li-ion battery industry revenues increased from $5.31 billion to $27.55 billion. Now, the industry is enjoying a second windfall. Increasing demand from the energy storage and, especially, the alternative energy vehicle industries is predicted to raise global market demand for Li-ion batteries from 67.07 million kWh in 2014 to 131.20 million kWh in 2016, a 39.85% compound annual growth rate.
Growth in China’s Li-ion battery market has been even more rapid – the average annual growth rate in China has been 10-13% higher than the global average – and strong government support for China’s emerging alternative energy vehicle industry should benefit domestic Li-ion battery manufacturers even further. This support was cemented in July 2014 with the publication of the Guidance to Accelerate the Promotion and Application of Alternative Energy Automobiles, which contains development projects for China’s battery electric vehicle (BEV), plug-in hybrid electrical vehicle (PHEV), extended range electric vehicle (EREV) and fuel cell vehicle (FCV) industries.
As the power Li-ion batteries used in alternative energy vehicles contain a large number of separators, the increasing demand for hybrid and electric cars is good news for Chinese Li-ion battery separator manufacturers. Production of separators in China did not begin until as late as 2008, as the advanced technology required was out of reach of Chinese companies until that point. Nevertheless, the industry has made great strides in recent years and Chinese manufacturers are beginning to become suppliers of international clients. Shenzhen Senior Technology Material Co., Ltd. (Senior), for example, has supplied the US-based A123 System LLC. and the South Korea-based LG Electronics Inc. with its products.
However, the high performance needed to power an alternative energy vehicle presents a challenge to China’s separator manufacturers. According to industry experts, a power Li-ion battery’s internal temperature can rise to a very high level when in use, and this can easily cause the cathode separator to melt, which may result in a short circuit.
For this reason, CCM believes that PVDF-coated separators may become increasingly popular in China. Although more expensive than conventional separators, PVDF-coated separators offer several key advantages, significantly improving the safety performance, reducing leaking and the expansion rate, and extending the life cycle of the battery, and improving the consistency of battery cells.
As the table below shows, a number of Chinese companies are already manufacturing PVDF-coated separators. It is very likely that we will also see more companies join this market in the near future.
Details of some of China’s PVDF-coated separator manufacturers, 2014
FSPG Hi-Tech Co., Ltd.
PVDF separators applied in solar battery
A leader in new polymer materials such as Li-ion battery separators, polarizing film and capacitor film
Cangzhou Mingzhu Plastic Co., Ltd.
New Li-ion battery separators such as composite separators, ceramic coated separators and PVDF coated separators
It has three production lines for Li-ion battery separators with a total production capacity of 20 million m2/a. The output in 2013 was 13 million m2.
Foshan Yingbolai Technology Co., Ltd.
Composite separators, ceramic coated separators and PVDF coated separators
Note: PVDF stands for polyvinylidene fluoride
- This article was provided by CCM, a leading provider of data and business intelligence on China’s chemicals market. CCM has launched China Li-ion Battery E-News, a new e-journal dedicated to analyzing all the latest news and trends in China’s Li-ion battery industry. For more information on CCM and China Li-ion Battery E-News, please visit www.cnchemicals.com or contact email@example.com
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