What exactly is Tesla’s new “cobalt-free battery”?

Tesla is in talks with the Ninder era to buy cobalt-free batteries for domestic Tesla, the market said today. The Ningde Times did not respond to the rumors without comment. As for what the “cobalt-free battery” of the Ningde era is, Guotai Junan New Energy Analyst said, simply put, iron phosphate lithium battery, but using the CTP technology of the Ningde era.

In fact, at last year’s Frankfurt International Auto Show, The Ninder era introduced the CTP High Integrated Power Battery Development Platform (Cell To Pack), which eliminates the need for battery modules and integrates the cells directly into the battery pack.

According to the Ningde era, compared to the traditional battery pack, CTP battery pack eliminated the assembly of battery module, so that the number of battery pack parts will be reduced by 40%, volume utilization increased by 15%-20%, production efficiency increased by 50%, battery pack energy density increased by 10%-15%, battery manufacturing costs will be greatly reduced.

Advantages of CTP technology

As for the advantages of CTP technology, Guojun Securities analysts said, first of all, the cost is low. CTP battery package essence or iron phosphate lithium battery, because no cobalt metal, compared to the three-way lithium battery, the cost is lower, the current market iron phosphate lithium battery price of 0.65 yuan / wh, far less than the triple battery 0.85 yuan / wh, CTP technology will promote the price of power battery further reduced.

Second, security is good. Iron phosphate lithium battery rarely explodes and other things, it is known that iron phosphate lithium battery is widely used in a large number of passengers in the bus.

Again, increase the battery’s energy density. Compared with the teratosis battery, the lithium iron phosphate battery has only one disadvantage, which is the lack of energy density. CTP technology can improve this disadvantage, and the battery’s energy density is expected to reach 200Wh/Kg due to the reduction of component data for battery pack production.

Finally, commercial applications are fast-landing. Prior to this, Ningde era and BAIC have reached a CTP application related strategic cooperation.

Comparison of CPT and BYD’s “Blade Battery” in Ningde Era

Earlier this year, BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu revealed at the China Auto 100 People Forum that BYD’s “blade battery” will be produced for the first time in March this year, the assembly will be used in BYD’s new model “Han”. As for the essential difference between the NINGde ERA CTP and BYD blade battery, industry power battery experts said that BYD “blade battery” program has no module, and the Ningde era CTP program is a module, that is, large module program.

According to BYD’s patent specification, “blade battery” is a long cell solution, the length of the cell and the width of the battery pack, the cell along the length of the entire battery pack in a tight order. Can be based on the model to design the size of the battery, like the A-class car can also design a short less than 0.6m cell, Ningde ERA CTP scheme is directly composed of a number of high-capacity cell standardized battery pack, and then flexible stacking to form a larger battery module, to adapt to the energy storage needs of different models.

It is worth mentioning that Ouyang Minggao, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has called BYD’s “blade battery” and Ningde-era CTP battery solutions as the “most beautiful” battery technology innovation in 2019. Both are innovations at the battery system level, which makes the energy density of battery packs greatly increase, which is of great significance to increase vehicle life range, improve the safety of new energy vehicles and reduce battery costs.

Effects on cobalt and lithium prices

Regarding the impact of CTP batteries and BYD “blade batteries” on cobalt and lithium prices in the Ningde era, Guojun Securities analysts said that there was no impact on lithium and that all lithium batteries should be used. For cobalt, do not worry too much, cobalt is a typical cyclical product, supply and demand together determine the price of the product, cobalt demand side of the guarantee reflected in the following aspects:

First, about 90% of cobalt metals are used in high-temperature alloys, carbides and cell phone batteries, and the change of 5G mobile phones in 2020 will inevitably lead to an increase in demand for cobalt metals.

Second, the proportion of cobalt metal used in electric vehicles is not high, while the focus of lithium phosphate expansion is the direction of low-end models, will not form a direct competition with the teratosis battery.

Third, in the context of the rapid increase in the penetration of electric vehicles, the cake is growing, the demand for the triple positive pole and lithium phosphate is growing, not only will not put pressure on the demand for cobalt, on the contrary, will promote the increase in the demand for cobalt.

Because of the high price of metal cobalt, cobalt reduction has been a trend for new energy vehicle power batteries from a cost-control point of view, as early as 2018, Tesla CEO Musk said that to reduce the total use of cobalt in Tesla cars to almost zero, it now seems that the hand-held Ningde era may be able to help Musk achieve this wish.