GAC AION’s Yinpai battery factory commenced operations in Guangzhou on the 12th of December, on the same day the company released its ‘ultra-thin P58 Magazine Battery’. Additionally, energy storage company Hithium officially put into operation its Chongqing manufacturing base, as well as announcing a new long duration energy storage battery at its Eco-Day.
GAC AION’s gigafactory has taken just a year to build, focused on a singular production line it has a 6GWh capacity, capable of producing a cell every 2 seconds. Currently only producing lithium-ion batteries, the company has plans to expand its production to include sodium-ion, and solid-state batteries by 2025 or 2026. By this period GAC AION plans to achieve a 36GWh capacity. Additionally, the company aims to put solid-state batteries, produced at the Yinpai facility, into its premium Hyper EVs by 2026. On the same day the P58 Magazine Battery was released, an ultra-thin LFP battery designed to rival BYD’s Blade battery or CATL’s Qilin battery. The P58 energy density sits at circa 146.5Wh/kg, which should support a vehicle range exceeding 700km, moreover the battery has 3C fast charging capability. Additionally, the company claims it still has a balanced performance at temperatures as low as -20 degrees centigrade.
These announcements align with GAC AION’s aim of achieving a combined annual vehicle production and sales figure of one million by 2025. In the first 11 months of 2023, GAC AION produced 449,600 units and sold 434,100 units. By 2025 it’s expected GAC AION will require 75GWh of battery production capacity for its production.
On the 7th of December, Hithium put into operation its Chongqing manufacturing plant located in the Tongliang high-tech zone. This first phase has a planned production capacity of 28GWh costing a total of RMB13 billion (USD1.8 billion). Once fully operational it will have a production capacity of 56GWh of energy storage lithium-ion batteries and 22GWh of energy storage modules. The plant will begin by producing 280Ah energy storage products, with an energy density of 160Wh/kg.
Further to this, Hithium released a new energy storage cell at its Eco-Day event on the 12th of December. Catering to the trend of larger scale energy storage, it released a cell aimed at 4–8 hour energy storage with an 1130Ah capacity, four times bigger than the conventional 280Ah cell. With a lifecycle of up to 15,000 cycles, it will allow energy storage systems to last up to 25 years, which will reduce the overall life cycle cost of system.
The global battery market is expected to reach just under 1 TWh this year. With this, China has the largest global demand accounting for approximately 50%, additionally it has the largest production capacities. These announcements highlight the two biggest areas of battery demand, EVs and BESS and reinforce the strength of China’s battery industry. As EV markets continue to grow and energy storage systems become more widespread, increasing production capacity and technological innovation are required.
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