LATEST BATTERY NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Updated September 3, 2001

 

CHINESE BATTERY NEWS

China is rapidly becoming the largest country for battery production as well as the largest company for battery consumption in the world. On Jan. 20, 2000, China Central Television (CCTV) announced that about 14 billion cells were annually produced and 6 billion cells were annually consumed in China. This is equivalent to 5 cells/person. By the end of 2000, about 17 billion cells were produced and about 7 billion cells were consumed in China, which is equivalent to 6.6 cells/person.

The total annual primary battery production in China up to 2000 is listed in the following table:

(in billions of cells)

Year

1980

1985

1990

1995

1996

1999

2000

Production

3.23

4.48

6.40

10.5

12.0

14.0

17.0

*portable Ni/Cd, Ni/MH and lithium ion batteries are partially included.

Among these values, the annual alkaline battery production is increasing very fast as shown in the following table.

Year

Annual Output

Ratio of Primary Cells

1992

45 million cells

<1%

1993

73.6 million cells

~1%

1994

100 million cells

2%

1995

300 million cells

3%

1996

400 million cells

3.7%

1997

700 million cells

6%

1998

1.2 billion cells

9%

1999

2.1 billion cells

12%

2000

2.1 billion cells

15%

2005

 

30%*

*as the planning value for the tenth 5-year national plan

The Nanfu Battery Company, Ltd., is the largest manufacturer of alkaline cells in China. The company produced 450 million cells in 2000, a 50% increase over that in 1999. All types of alkaline cells, such as LR20, LR14, LR6, LR03, and 6LR61 series products are now being mass produced. Also, Nanfu has recently self-designed and produced a fully automated assembly line for LR6 cells with the high speed of 400 cells/min. Such an achievement has garnered them the 2001 National Science & Technology Prize.

The number of cellular phone users are still rapidly increasing in China. The China Ministry of Information Industry reported that the number of cellular phone users reached ~70 million by the end of 2000. It is predicted that the number of cellular phone users will reach 140 million in 2005.

Annual Production of Lead-Acid Batteries in China

Item

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

Total output

7450991

9046731

10025619

10128407

11880546

Starting

6500496

7050137

7158335

8075640

9044170

Stationary

342596

1156688

1919894

816372

1273914

Traction

219461

193315

243733

189394

150073

Railway

86462

75283

199950

67956

132331

Military

166451

125121

216449

149255

236617

Motorcycle

81756

116418

110577

274620

279671

Navigation

828

---

673

22424

76147

Sealed

30315

289373

147647

334641

486023

Others

22626

40396

28361

198105

488957

Export

724844

956996

639679

153019

1283797

# of Mfgs.*

42

44

44

37

38

*number of manufacturers used to gather data

The Annual Requirement of VRLA lead-acid batteries by the main users in China are listed below:

(unit: thousand KVAh)

Application Fields

1999

2000

2005

Telecommunications

1300

1570

2500*

Electric Power

420

540

1060*

UPS for Computers

340

750

1700*

Transportation

Locomotive

Electric bicycles

210

40

260

144

500*

750*

*Predicted value

Lantian-Sanyo, a joint venture company in Tianjin, started its Ni/MH battery pack assembly for cellular phone applications in 1999. The company has recently built a new plant. The building roof is covered with 10 kW silicon solar cell panels made by Sanyo in Japan. Such panels are connected to sealed lead-acid batteries that can supply power to the factory and also to commercial power systems. An advanced automated assembly line for producing AAA single cells with the annual capability of 30 million cells in now under construction. The opening ceremony was held on June 18, 2001.

Lishen has setup the first automatic production line for lithium ion batteries in China. The company has now produced 18650 cells with 1800 mAh and 2000 mAh, and 063048 prismatic lithium ion cells with a normal capacity of more than 600 mAh. Motorola presented two certificates to Lishen on June 18th. They include a "certificate of qualified products" and a "certificate as a qualified supplier", after more than 6 months of evaluation of production, QC systems and products.

BYD can produce almost five million prismatic Li-ion cells per month on their manual based production lines. The Bangkai Company has also increased their production capability of prismatic lithium ion cells. The total annual production is now about 100 million cells in the Shengzhen area.

The China International Battery Fair 2001 (CIBF2001) has just been held in Beijing between June 8 and June 11. There were 380 display booths in the 8000 square meter exhibition area. This is significantly higher than any previous battery fair and more than 20,000 persons were in attendance. This included technical and businessmen from both inside and outside of China. During the fair, 39 papers were presented during the International Battery Conference. CIBF2001 and the International Battery Conference were highed commended by all participants from all over the world.

For more information about batteries and battery materials, subscribe to our "ITE Battery Newsletter" or "ITE Express News."