Behind the gradually expanding new energy vehicle system, new players are constantly entering the field of power battery recycling. It is reported that the service life of most power batteries is between 3 and 5 years. After the development in recent years, the trend of power battery retirement is approaching.
According to the Power Lithium Battery Recycling Industry Report (hereinafter referred to as the "Report") issued by Guojin Securities, by 2020, the demand for power lithium batteries will reach 125Gwh, and the scrap volume will reach 32.2Gwh, about 500000 tons; By 2023, the scrap volume will reach 101Gwh, about 1.16 million tons.
On October 31 this year, China Iron Tower signed a letter of intent for cooperation in the construction of the power battery recycling system with 11 new energy vehicle manufacturers, including FAW, Dongfeng and BYD. The reporter of China Business Daily sent a letter to China Tower on the layout and profit prospects of power battery recycling business. The relevant person in charge said that the power battery recycling business is still in the pilot stage, so it is not convenient to be interviewed.
On the one hand, there is a surge of battery retirement; on the other hand, there is a battery recycling industry that has just started to develop. The power battery recycling industry is still facing various challenges from the determination of recycling subjects, the construction of recycling channels and the exploration of sustainable business models.
Battery recycling enterprise "holding together for special purpose"
China's new energy vehicle industry is experiencing "explosive growth". On November 9, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers released the domestic automobile production and sales data in October 2018. The sales volume in October was 138000 units, with a year-on-year growth of 51.0% and a month on month growth of 13.7%; From January to October 2018, the cumulative sales volume of domestic new energy vehicles was 860000, with a year-on-year growth of 75.6%.
At the same time, the power batteries produced and used from 2013 to 2015 are gradually reaching the scrapping standard and gradually flowing to the market. How to properly recycle them has become a key issue.
Moke, the chief analyst of Truth Research, said that in 2020, the scrapping and recycling of power batteries will usher in a large-scale growth period, which is also the reason why automobile enterprises, battery enterprises and raw material recycling enterprises have entered the battery recycling market. To reduce environmental pollution and give consideration to economic benefits, the current power battery recycling mainly adopts two ways: cascade utilization and scrapping and dismantling.
The economic benefits of power electric disassembly and recovery come from the raw materials, mainly cobalt, nickel and valuable metals in lithium carbonate/lithium hydroxide. The above Report predicts that the market scale created by recycling cobalt, nickel, manganese, lithium, iron and aluminum from waste power lithium batteries will start to explode in 2018, reaching 5.2 billion yuan, 13.6 billion yuan in 2020, and more than 30 billion yuan in 2023.
Due to the considerable future income, many enterprises have started to layout in advance. Gao Buwen, deputy general manager of China Tower, has publicly said that it is expected that by 2020, China Tower will consume the retired power batteries of electric vehicles across the country. The total battery capacity of China's tower base stations nationwide is more than 40GWh. By 2020, 13.79GWh of retired power batteries will be accumulated. If energy storage is added, the demand of China's tower can absorb 10 million new energy vehicles.
According to the introduction of China Iron Tower, according to the agreement signed with the automobile enterprises, in the future, China Iron Tower will use its own resources and the resources of cooperative units such as agent maintenance to provide retired battery recycling network support services for new energy automobile enterprises and other partners, and be responsible for the operation, personnel, management, logistics, warehousing and other work of the entire recycling system.
In addition, battery enterprises and vehicle manufacturers have also accelerated the pace of layout. In March this year, SAIC and Ningde Times signed an agreement to jointly promote the recycling of power batteries for new energy vehicles; In May, GME and BAIC Penglong cooperated strategically to jointly build a new energy vehicle power recovery system; In May, Guoxuan Gaoke joined hands with Xunying to tackle the problem of lithium battery recycling.
Merco believes that: "It is not early for enterprises to begin to deploy power battery recycling, but the prospect of the whole industry is still not completely clear, and the business model of sustainable development has not yet emerged. The reason why enterprises cooperate in groups is that the battery recycling industry is still in a stage of joint exploration, which is conducive to reducing their own costs and speeding up the process."
The income is affected by the price of raw materials
According to relevant data, the scale of waste power batteries in China will exceed 300000 tons in 2018 and 500000 tons in 2020. Due to the imperfect recycling system of power batteries, the recycling rate of power batteries in China is low. According to statistics, the number of discarded power batteries in 2015 was 20000~40000 tons, but the corresponding recovery rate was only 2%. In 2016, the amount of waste power batteries recovered was less than 10000 tons, and the recovery rate was less than 20%.
In July this year, seven ministries and commissions, including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Science and Technology, jointly issued the Notice on Doing a Good Job in the Pilot Work of Recycling and Utilization of New Energy Vehicle Power Batteries. Through research, 20 provinces and cities, including Beijing Tianjin Hebei Region, Shanghai City, Jiangsu Province and Zhejiang Province, as well as China Tower Stock Co., Ltd., were identified as pilot areas and enterprises. At present, some auto enterprises, such as BYD and BAIC New Energy, have announced power battery recycling service outlets.
"At this stage, cascade utilization and disassembly and recycling are two popular processes. In the next three years, the recycling value of lithium iron phosphate battery is expected to be reflected in the cascade utilization, while the ternary battery is mainly disassembled and recycled." However, Merco further pointed out that due to the low level of battery technology, poor consistency and lack of relevant standards before 2014, which greatly increased the cost of recycling, the economic benefits of recycling are not obvious.
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