Li-ion batteries are the technology of choice for the first generation of all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and the subsequent hype has attracted an increasing number of competitors to an already crowded market. Soon, it will be impossible for all of these companies to survive, making strong partnerships a necessity. This week’s graphic illustrates how developers of Li-ion batteries compare on the Lux Innovation Grid, helping to identify which will make the strongest potential partners as the electric vehicle market matures.
LG Chem Power clearly leads the pack, standing out even amidst its competition in the graphic’s Dominant Quadrant. A subsidiary of LG Chemical, LG Chem owes its strong technical value to its high-energy lithium-manganese-spinel-based cells and strong cycle life, both of which come at costs that are among the most competitive in the market. Its multitude of supply partnerships with the likes of GM, Eaton, and Ford, however, justify the company’s strong business execution score.
Significant enhancements in specific energy and a commensurate reduction in cell costhas garnered Envia Systems the attention of major investors including GM, Asahi Glass, and Asahi Kasei. Yet serious competition remains for Envia in cathode materials, including two major corporations in BASF and Toda Kogyo licensing the same Argonne National Laboratory technology that Envia’s materials are based on.
China is home to a number of top contenders, thanks to the Chinese government’s desire to keep the electric vehicle value chain inside China’s borders (Client registration required.). But batteries from China BAK, BYD, and China Aviation Lithium Battery (CALB) are undifferentiated technologically, and may not share the quality of cells manufactured outside of China.
Source: Lux Research report “Using Partnerships to Stay Afloat in the Electric Vehicle Storm.”