The China Automobile Association recently predicted that the sales volume of new energy vehicles in China will exceed 9 million in 2023, and the new energy vehicle market will maintain a high profile.
The reporter learned in a recent interview that many independently researched and developed technology routes are expected to be upgraded iteratively in the new year, and become the endogenous power for the development of China's new energy vehicles. New technologies, including sodium ion battery, hybrid power, hydrogen fuel cell and so on, will help China's new energy vehicle industry to speed up and further drive the entire industry chain.
The loading of sodium ion battery will partially replace lithium battery
Sodium ion batteries are getting hotter this winter.
On December 27, 2022, Chuanyi Technology announced that Chuanyi Na Dian, a subsidiary of the company's holding company, signed an agreement with Zhongxiang Aviation Industry, which agreed to jointly develop a cost-effective power storage system based on sodium ion batteries in the field of new energy alternatives for civil aviation auxiliary vehicles by integrating the advantages and resources of all parties. In addition, many companies, such as Honeycomb Energy, Blue Lithium, Funeng Technology, have recently announced the latest progress in mass production of sodium ion batteries. "This year's goal of sodium ion battery is mass production and loading, and it is expected that samples can be sent for Jiangling New Energy in the first half of the year." The relevant personnel of Funeng Technology told reporters on January 4, 2023.
On November 29, 2022, it was reported from the China Electronics Technology Standardization Institute that the development of standards for the sodium ion battery industry was accelerated, and efforts were made to report to relevant departments as soon as possible. It is reported that the draft of the sodium ion battery industry standard has been prepared and is seeking comments in the industry.
According to the latest research report of Soochow Securities, 2023 will be the first year of sodium ion battery industrialization, and new technologies will contribute more. The acceleration of the development of sodium ion industry standards will help open up the upstream and downstream supply chains. At the same time, the promotion speed of sodium ion battery is also accelerating. At present, the industry is in the stage of small batch product testing, realizing the energy density of 130Wh/kg to 140Wh/kg, and the cycle life of about 3000 times. It is expected that mass production will start in 2023, with the scale within 5GWh.
The electrode materials used in sodium ion batteries are mainly sodium salts, which are more abundant and cheaper than lithium salts. Since 2020, with the rising price of lithium carbonate, sodium ion batteries have entered the fast development track.
In July 2021, Ningde Times took the lead in releasing the first generation of sodium ion battery technology, and the energy density of cell monomer reached 160Wh/kg, lower than that of lithium iron phosphate battery. Ningde Times recently announced that the energy density target of the next generation sodium battery is 200Wh/kg, which is almost the same as that of lithium iron phosphate, and can meet the demand of pure electric vehicles with a range of 400km or less. If the AB scheme of lithium sodium electric hybrid can be adopted, it is expected to expand the capacity boundary to 500 kilometers, covering 65% of the new energy vehicle market. Ningde Times recently said that the company is committed to promoting the industrialization of sodium ion batteries in 2023.
Some auto industry analysts believe that sodium ion battery is more like a low-cost version of lithium battery. In the context of high lithium resource prices, sodium battery materials have significant cost advantages. In the future, sodium batteries and lithium batteries will complement each other in application scenarios. Sodium lithium hybrid batteries can also reduce the dependence of power battery plants on upstream lithium resources. "The addition of sodium ion will make the battery cost lower and the battery life longer. It is not a big problem to get on the car, but it should be verified in the development and design stage." Shi Shuai, a partner of Roland Berger, analyzed.
Improvement of hybrid technology helps reduce the cost of new energy vehicles
BYD recently introduced that 1200 new BYD super hybrid vehicles arrived in Colombia after the first 500 BYD hybrid vehicles were introduced in the Colombian market in early 2022. The vehicles shipped this time are composed of 200 Qin PLUS DM-i (configuration | inquiry) and 1000 Song PLUS DM-i (configuration | inquiry), which has set a new record for the export volume of BYD DM-i super hybrid models at a single time. Recently, hybrid models of Great Wall Motors and Geely Motors have also been exported to overseas markets and newly built production capacity, and China's hybrid new energy vehicle technology has begun to win recognition from international users.
An analyst in the new energy industry said that the hybrid architecture is composed of special hybrid engine, drive motor, DHT gearbox, motor controller, ECU, power battery and other components. It is a highly integrated, high-efficient, multi-mode oil electric hybrid system. The core of hybrid technology is DHT, namely hybrid special transmission.
In recent years, Chinese auto enterprises have successively launched DHT technologies independently developed, including BYD DMI, Great Wall Lemon DHT, Geely Raytheon DHT, Chery Kunpeng DHT, etc. According to the latest research report of Guoyuan Securities, the DHT technology dividend previously distributed by Chinese automobile enterprises has achieved better cost performance, making the price of hybrid vehicles equal to or even cheaper than that of fuel vehicles at the same price. Its power, quietness, energy conservation and other products are superior to fuel vehicles at the same price. The market positioning has also changed from "competing with pure electric vehicles" to "competing with fuel vehicles". In 2023, the sales volume of hybrid vehicles is expected to increase significantly.
According to the data of BYD on January 2, BYD DM hybrid passenger vehicles will account for 50.94% of the company's new energy vehicles in 2022, which will be the main vehicle. Having tasted the benefits of hybrid vehicles, BYD has planned to launch hybrid pickup models in 2023.
Professor Xu Xiangyang, School of Transportation Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, said that in the future, the dual motor series parallel configuration will surpass the power split type and become the mainstream technology route of autonomous hybrid
Xu Xiangyang also said that the multi gear dual motor series parallel connection and the electric driven DHT will be the future development direction of hybrid new energy vehicles, and the intelligent networked energy management and control technology will also become a new highland of technical competition.
In addition, some experts in the industry believe that the current hybrid models on the market are equipped with 55km to 120km power batteries. Compared with the pure electric models, the battery capacity will be greatly reduced after starting at 500km. In 2023, in the face of high resource prices, with the progress of technology, there is still room for further reduction of the battery capacity of some hybrid models.
The breakthrough of hydrogen fuel cell technology will go deep into the material level
Yihuatong announced on December 28, 2022 that it had recently signed a 2023 annual sales contract with Yutong Group's holding subsidiaries, and Yutong Light and Yutong Commercial purchased 500 fuel cell engines and related materials from the company. Shenzhen Guohydrogen New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. disclosed on December 21, 2022 that in the next eight months, Shenzhen Guohydrogen, Yangang Pearl, Dongfeng Liuqi and Carmeng Automobile will complete the delivery and operation of 800 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
With the signing of large orders for the delivery of hydrogen fuel cells in 2023, new hydrogen energy vehicles will also begin to appear in 2023. At the 20th Guangzhou Auto Show held a few days ago, Chang'an Auto's Dark Blue brand released the first strategic model, Dark Blue SL03 (configuration | inquiry). The hydrogen energy consumption of the hydrogen electric version is only 0.65 kg per 100 km. During the process of hydrogen to electricity, the system can also efficiently recover the waste heat for heating, so as to ensure the winter endurance without shrinking.
The latest research report of CITIC Securities is optimistic about the acceleration of hydrogen energy industrialization. It is expected that the sales of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will double in 2023, and hydrogen energy vehicles are expected to achieve a leap in sales volume. Among them, the proportion of heavy truck models is expected to further increase, effectively driving the value growth of the industrial chain. At the same time, the production of green hydrogen and its application in chemical industry are expected to increase rapidly.
"The breakthrough in hydrogen fuel cell technology is expected to go deep into the material level." Ouyang Minggao, an academician of the CAS Member and a professor of the School of Vehicle and Transportation of Tsinghua University, said that China's hydrogen fuel cell engines had made breakthroughs in technology routes, including metal plate stacks and graphite plate stacks. 2023 is an important window for the development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Ouyang Minggao said that among the core links of the current technological innovation, hydrogen fuel cells and electrolysis devices are expected to take the lead in making breakthroughs to reduce costs, improve efficiency and extend life, while gradually deepening from the system level to the material level. For example, the diaphragm of alkaline electrolysis causes hydrogen and oxygen to cross each other, and hydrogen leakage exceeds the standard, so a breakthrough must be made on the diaphragm.
Wang Zhen, Deputy General Manager of Dongyue Future Hydrogen Energy Materials, recently introduced that the company is developing a new electrolytic hydrogen production membrane with larger width, higher exchange capacity, higher strength and longer life. After the product is launched, the cost can be greatly reduced to meet the domestic supply.