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Be Careful, You May Be Buying Used Car!

Mar 06, 2020

Recycling of power lithium batteries is chaotic! Be careful, you may be buying a "used car"


"The service life of electric vehicles is generally 5 to 8 years, which means that the first wave of battery recycling has arrived, but we don't have a systematic recycling channel at this time. I don't know how to start." Regarding battery recycling, new energy vehicles have been sold. Wang Ning (pseudonym) for many years bluntly said, "Very chaotic!"

Wang Ning's successful new energy company is a new energy commercial vehicle company in Shanxi. Although not well-known abroad, the new energy vehicles produced are very common in Shanxi. At present, successful new energy has a certain sales volume, but has not yet formed a system in terms of battery recycling.

At present, the lithium battery retirement period has arrived, and the tens of billions of markets in the recycling field will also open, but the battery recycling system is still relatively chaotic. How to make each "retired" power lithium battery find its final destination is the current industry's thinking.

1. Automobile companies are unable to recycle

In 2018, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology had announced in the "Interim Measures on the Management of the Recycling and Utilization of Power Batteries for New Energy Vehicles", requiring auto production companies to assume the main responsibility for power battery recycling. In addition, the battery production company shall cooperate with the automobile production company to encode the power battery produced in accordance with the requirements of national standards. The battery production company and the automobile production company shall upload the power battery code and new energy vehicle-related information through the traceability information system in a timely manner. But in actual operation, there are many problems.

"In order to obtain new energy subsidies, we generally send the purchased vehicles to Shenzhen and other cities with higher subsidies for systematic reporting, and then ship to Shanxi for sales." Wang Ning admitted to the reporter of "Daily Economic News" that New energy vehicles sold in this way are actually equivalent to a "used car".

This means that many new energy vehicles have completed reporting on the system before they are actually sold. It is difficult to find the real owner through system tracking, not to mention the battery information in a timely manner through the traceability information system. It can be seen that battery recovery cannot be implemented by system tracking.

In addition to "hands and feet" before sales, new energy vehicles are also hidden in the process of flowing to the market. According to Wang Ning, after the first-tier dealer picks up the car from the manufacturer, some vehicles will be sold directly to consumers, some vehicles will be transferred to second-tier dealers, and some vehicles will be transferred to other consumers through the second-hand car market. .

After experiencing complicated processes, the end market for power lithium battery recycling is even more chaotic. "The multiple transfers between dealers, consumers, and the used car market have made the power lithium batteries carried in new energy vehicles more difficult to track." Wang Ning said.

In addition, the high residual value rate of new energy used cars also makes it difficult to recycle power lithium batteries. Taking successful new energy as an example, the selling price range of models sold ranges from 30,000 to 150,000 yuan. "The value preservation rate of new energy vehicles is itself low, especially for low-end electric vehicles. The value retention of 100,000 yuan vehicles is only 50,000 yuan after one year of use." Wang Ning said helplessly, some consumers People would rather buy a new car than sell it at a low price, which also extends the cycle of battery recycling.

2. The industry's breaking point is still far

"5 to 8 years" is considered the universal life of new energy vehicle power lithium batteries. If calculated according to the 2014 new energy vehicle in China, the first batch of large-scale power lithium batteries has entered the threshold of elimination.

According to data from the Ministry of Public Security, as of the end of 2018, the number of new energy vehicles in China was 2.61 million (of which 2.11 million were pure electric vehicles). This year is considered to be the first year of the domestic power lithium battery recycling industry outbreak. It is expected that by 2020, the number of power lithium battery retirements for new energy vehicles will reach more than 200,000 tons.

However, in real life, it has not developed according to the intended "script", and the battery recycling industry with a high degree of certainty for recycling has not yet exploded.

The complex technology of the battery recycling process has become the primary reason for its slow development. A person in charge of a company focusing on battery recycling told reporters, "The safety risks of battery recycling are still difficult to solve, because the industry's assessment of the remaining battery life and consistency is not mature. The utilization rate of each battery varies, and Manufacturers have different battery models, and even the battery life of the same model is different. "

The reporter learned that there are three important ways to recycle power lithium batteries: one is through the battery manufacturer; the other is through the 4S store channel; the third is through the consumer terminal market.

"Now most of the work of power lithium battery recycling is still undertaken by battery manufacturers, and the recycling ratio of 4S stores and consumer terminal markets is negligible." The person in charge of the company focusing on battery recycling told reporters that battery recycling is difficult to a certain extent This has affected the development of the entire industry.

And some auto makers have built battery recycling systems, such as BYD. A person in charge of BYD told reporters: "Compared with other car companies that recycle non-self-produced power lithium batteries, we only recycle batteries produced by ourselves, so we have a better understanding of battery performance and chemical composition."

Even if the battery is recycled, the recycling efficiency is still low. "Now battery recycling is still in the experimental stage, and the efficiency of step utilization is very low. Generally, it is recycled after discharge. However, the industry still has problems such as low lithium metal recovery rate and poor compatibility of various battery recycling processes." The above focus The person in charge of the battery recycling company said.

3. Is the new way out?

With the arrival of the "decommissioning wave" of power lithium batteries, 17 provinces and cities across the country have been selected as pilot areas for power lithium battery recycling. Capital, vehicle companies, and power lithium battery production companies are seizing the power lithium battery recycling market.

According to the above-mentioned person in charge of BYD told reporters that BYD has basically mastered battery recycling technology, including independent research and development and design of fully automated power lithium battery sealed disassembly equipment, to achieve the recovery of the entire battery components (all substances in the battery).

Unlike traditional battery recycling models such as BYD and Ningde Times, many car companies have launched a new model-power replacement. Some analysts believe that although the original intention of many car companies to launch this business is to solve the anxiety problem of new energy vehicles, the business model of the battery replacement business makes battery monitoring and tracking more controllable.

This reporter has learned that BAIC New Energy and other car companies have launched a "separation of value from vehicles" business model. For example, Beiqi New Energy once launched the first private-to-electricity swap model, the EU Quick Change Edition. When consumers buy the car, they will strip the price of 50,000 yuan worth of batteries, and the battery will be rented and replaced by 458 yuan Used by electricity. As of now, BAIC New Energy has deployed 100 replacement stations in Beijing.

However, some people believe that the power exchange business launched by car companies is more like a financial product. According to the so-called car-electricity separation scheme, after the expiration, the ownership of the battery is still owned by the user, but only interest-free installment.

"Because the electric performance, mechanical properties, and shape of the batteries used in each electric vehicle are different, this will lead to a network effect that cannot be replaced by the power station, and it cannot be used for multiple car manufacturers at the same time." The person Huang Jiaxi analyzed the reporter of "Daily Economic News" that under the existing technology and business model, it is not practical to build a substation that serves all models.

According to the reporter's understanding, the current power exchange mode does not account for a large proportion of the business scale of the car companies, and the main focus is on supply and charging, self-built DC piles, destination charging piles and public charging piles. However, although the scale of power replacement is not yet complete, this may not be a completely new idea of controllable battery tracking.