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Investing in Li-Battery (4) – Value Chain Upstream – Electrolyte

published: 2010-12-16 16:37

Electrolyte, which accounts for approximately 12% of total manufacturing costs, is one of the most important materials that influence the quality of Lithium batteries. Electrolyte mainly comprises LiPF6, which is extremely difficult to produce. Large multinational companies like TDK Corporation, Morita Chemical Industries, Stella Chemifa Corp. created monopolistic nature of this particular market.

Because core materials used to produce electrolyte are mainly in the hands of certain Japanese companies including UBE Industries, Mitsubishi Chemical, Toyama Chemical Co., they have the leading power to affect the market conditions. ECOPRO, on the other hand, is a Korean company producing cathode active materials and electrolyte solvents, which are core materials for secondary batteries.

In Taiwan, Formosa Plastics Group is one of the few that have reached economies of scale. E-One Moli Energy Corp., a battery manufacturer engaged in making energy cells and power cells, also possesses electrolyte patent in house. In main land China, Shanghai Huarong and Shanshan Holdings Company are large in economic scale in the electrolyte business and Tianjin Jinniu Power Sources Material Co. is the main supplier of electrolyte to Tianjin Lishen Battery Joint-Stock Co..

A typical plug-in electric vehicle needs 40 kg of electrolyte, the production output, taking the current global capacity into consideration, can only provide enough electrolyte for 1 million plug-in electric vehicles. EnergyTrend believes that once the EVs market grows to a certain point that the practicality is material, the upside potential of demand for electrolyte is going to be enormous.

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