China’s car and battery industry launches solid-state battery offensive

A number of major Chinese battery and car manufacturers are joining forces to drive forward the commercialisation of solid-state batteries. The initiator of the alliance is the Chinese government.

Image: CATL

The China All-Solid-State Battery Collaborative Innovation Platform (CASIP) consortium founded in January aims to develop and produce competitive solid-state batteries and establish a supply chain by 2030. This is according to a report in the Japanese business newspaper Nikkei Asia, which quotes statements by high-ranking representatives from the CASIP opening ceremony.

According to “Nikkei Asia”, the battery manufacturers CATL, CALB, EVE Energy, SVOLT, Gotion High-Tech and the BYD battery subsidiary FinDreams Battery are involved in the alliance. There are also several state-owned manufacturers from the automotive industry as well as the private companies BYD and Nio. Other stakeholders include representatives from government and academia. Specifically mentioned on the government side are the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC) and the National Energy Administration. The scientific part is covered by government-affiliated research institutes such as the Chinese Academy of Sciences. According to the Japanese newspaper, “influential state-sponsored funds are also on the CASIP membership list”.

At the opening ceremony in January, Ouyang Minggao, professor at Tsinghua University, was among those who gave a speech. Nikkei Asia quotes the following passage from this speech: “We need to be prepared for the risk that all-solid-state battery technology could overturn. ” He adds: “AI is changing the way we do materials research and development, and it will vastly accelerate the speed of all-solid-state battery R&D. By around 2030, we will have a higher chance of achieving a breakthrough for the industrialization of all-solid-state batteries.”

Ergo does not want China’s market-leading position in electric car batteries to be challenged by a technological leap towards solid-state batteries. Against this backdrop, the new consortium will primarily focus on basic research, key technologies, the joint development and production of electric vehicles with solid-state batteries and the establishment of a corresponding supply chain.

It should be emphasised that the project, which is coordinated from Beijing, is bringing together competitors who are fighting aggressively for market share. One example cited by “Nikkei Asia” is the fact that CATL has sued its competitors CALB and Svolt for patent infringement. What brings the Chinese rivals together are the initiatives launched in South Korea, Japan, North America and Europe to commercialise solid-state battery technology, which could outcompete the Chinese industry. Toyota, for example, wants to launch the first electric cars with solid-state batteries in 2027/28, while Nissan also plans to do so in the 2028 financial year. (paywall)


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