In terms of market development, the sales of battery and plug-in hybrid vehicles in all countries are considerable.
Top of the list is China, where sales are up about 70 percent from the previous year.
In addition, China's pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles accounted for more than 2 percent of new registered vehicles in 2017, becoming the first country to surpass that ratio.
It was closely followed by France, which had a slightly higher share of the market, although its absolute sales were lower than Germany's, with modest sales growth of 25 per cent year on year.
In third-place Germany, its Smart Electric Car demand grew by more than 90 per cent, with pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles accounting for about 1 per cent of new registered vehicles, according to the report.
The us was fourth, but its sales growth was flat with France second.
Growth is also high in Japan and South Korea, where the market has rebounded sharply since stagnating in 2016, hitting an all-time high and ranking fifth.
While South Korea's growth rate is also in the triple digits, its Smart Electric Car market share is still less than 1 percent, ranking only sixth.
As for the final reason of Italy's ranking, the analysis of the report pointed out that the reason is that there are few Smart Electric Car models launched by domestic vehicle factories in Italy, so the proportion of pure electric and plug-in hybrid Smart Electric Car was only 0 in 2017.
25 percent, the Smart Electric Car market has not seen significant growth.
At present, with the development cycle of the electric vehicle industry getting shorter and more and more new models released, it is difficult for many vehicle factories and suppliers to make correct market positioning for products.
Functional benchmarking and design benchmarking analysis can help vehicle factories and suppliers to answer key questions.
Generally speaking, the whole vehicle factory pays more attention to the system or technical level, while the supplier pays more attention to the multiple solutions at the level of subsystems, sub-components and components.
The results of functional benchmarking analysis show that transmission systems and energy storage are key components that determine the performance of Smart Electric Car, according to the report.
Therefore, it is very important to analyze energy consumption, check the efficiency of the electric drive system and identify detailed characteristics of the battery pack.
In addition, for pure Smart Electric Car with longer range, the weight ratio of battery is higher than that of internal combustion engine, and the battery casing related to collision safety function may be more than 40% of the total weight, taking into account collision safety issues.
So the design and location of the car's battery case could also be a key differentiator for Smart Electric Car makers.
Battery charger integration, thermal management optimization, innovative applications of synthetic materials, and connectivity technologies can help reduce the weight of the battery casing, thereby increasing the energy density of the battery system, according to the report's analysis.
In addition, higher battery capacity is needed for longer range, so further weight reduction is needed in the future.
(weight balance case in benchmarking analysis)
In addition, on the battery side, the report forecasts that global Smart Electric Car sales are expected to increase significantly over the next decade, with demand for automotive batteries expected to grow from 74GWh in 2017 to nearly 1600GWh in 2030.
(global demand for batteries in passenger cars, Shared vehicles and commercial vehicles)
As demand for batteries continues to rise, so do the prices of important raw materials.
Of all the major elements of the battery's active materials -- lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, aluminum and carbon -- lithium and cobalt are the most price-sensitive materials.
To secure physical supplies, lithium production, whether lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide, needs to be redeployed and improved, according to the report's analysis.
In addition to the required initial investment, the delivery cycle (up to 10 years) for new projects is critical, which will determine how long the market continues to be unusually expensive.
In the case of cobalt, raw material capacity is usually determined by global demand for copper or nickel.
So speculation remains in the cobalt market, which is likely to face a period of physical supply shortages.
In addition, due to the impact of the overall technology development to improve the energy density of the battery, the battery cathode material focuses on high nickel material in material composition.
At the same time, the report notes that the potential impact of improved production equipment and scale on saving battery costs is lower than the rise in raw material prices over the past two years.
So, to overcome reliance on highly volatile raw material prices, the report recommends that battery makers take three steps:
1. Develop the next generation battery pack by using lithium nickel cobalt aluminum as the basis of cathode materials and advanced anode materials such as silicon or lithium metal foil.
2. Introduce more advanced manufacturing processes, such as dry coating, high-speed lamination, or advanced battery design using lithium metal anode materials.
3. Apply upstream integration strategy in precursors and raw material processing, develop fully integrated pricing and supply hedging strategies, covering all potential measures from short-term spot market hedging to large-scale investment in metallurgical and refining projects.
From the perspective of the whole vehicle factory, in order to avoid or reduce the dependence on suppliers, the report recommends the whole vehicle factory:
1. Establish independent battery production and establish close long-term cooperation with relevant enterprises in the supply chain to reduce risks.
2. Change the supplier structure, reduce monopoly, include more other battery manufacturers and support their development to promote market competition.
In addition, the vehicle factory can also set up an independent battery recycling business to control the waste battery pack and recycle materials for future battery production.
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