Why is lithium battery capacity largely idle
"At present, the capacity of lithium battery disassembly and recycling of compliant enterprises certified by the Ministry of industry and information technology is more than 1 million tons, while the lithium battery of new energy vehicles scrapped last year is only about 200000 tons. Even if the scrapped lithium batteries in 3C products and other fields are included, many lithium battery recycling capacity is still vacant." Recently, an executive of a power battery recycling enterprise told reporters.
In recent years, the rapidly expanding new energy vehicle market has spawned a huge lithium battery recycling market. However, while new lithium battery recycling production lines emerge, they are facing the bleak reality of "there is a market but no goods".
Insufficient scrap volume
By the end of July, the sales volume of domestic new energy vehicles had reached 1.478 million, a year-on-year increase of 2 times. With the continuous hot support of the new energy vehicle market, the lithium battery disassembly and recycling market is also heating up rapidly. Since August, securities companies such as Anxin securities have released research reports on lithium battery recycling, and words such as "strong demand" and "new driving force for growth" have attracted particular attention.
The 2021 semi annual report of Tianqi shares, which is engaged in the recycling of power batteries, shows that according to industry estimates, the power batteries of the first batch of new energy vehicles listed have been in the "retirement" period. It is expected that from this year, the number of scrapped power batteries of new energy vehicles will increase year by year. After 2025, the number of "retired" batteries will increase by more than one million every year.
Although the prospect is good, the scrap volume of lithium batteries at this stage is relatively "dismal". According to the data of China Automotive Technology Research Center, only 200000 tons of power batteries will be retired in 2020.
"Diversion" by informal channels
At the same time, the above industry analysts pointed out that at present, the power battery has reached the service year, and entering the smelter for disassembly and recycling is not the first place for lithium batteries. Most of the "retired" lithium batteries have entered the echelon utilization stage.
In fact, since the Ministry of industry and information technology issued the Interim Measures for the management of recycling of new energy vehicle power batteries in 2018, automobile manufacturers selling through formal channels have basically established a recycling mechanism of "users apply to the 4S store to hand in lithium batteries, which will be collected by the 4S store and then returned to the automobile manufacturers". As a result, the lithium battery scrap recovery cycle is further extended.