Japan’s Marubeni Corporation has become the latest Asian player vying for a stake in Europe’s evolving battery cells business through a deal with Swedish lithium-ion firm Northvolt.
Marubeni and Northvolt have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate, in a move that could see the Japanese conglomerate supply LIB manufacturing equipment and raw materials.
Chinese lead-acid battery manufacturer Tianneng has reportedly set its sights on expanding production capacity to another country in southern or southeast Asia— while stepping up domestic capacity by 20% this year to meet electric vehicle demand.
According to Reuters, the company wants to capitalise on increasing demand for batteries to power electric scooters and cars in the region. Tianneng is considering setting up a plant “with an annual production capacity of at least 100,000 tonnes” in countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan and Bangladesh, according to the news agency.
Despite being only 30% finished, Tesla’s lithium-ion Gigafactory has rumbled into life proving the US can go head-to-head with Asia’s battery making industry.
Mass production of 2170 cells for Tesla’s Powerwall range of energy storage systems began last week, with Model 3 cell production set to follow in Q2 of this year.
After securing its first ESS deal in the US, Swiss firm Leclanché has almost immediately forged an Asian alliance for the low-cost manufacture and development of its Lithium Titanate Oxide (LTO) and Lithium Graphite/NMC (GNMC) batteries.
The European ESS company has formed a strategic partnership with Chinese lead-acid and lithium-ion battery manufacturer Narada Power Source.
Intellectual Property licensing and commercialisation company Marathon Patent Group aims to expand its Asia operations after securing 40 electrode patents.
The US firm’s wholly owned subsidiary Traverse Technologies acquired a portfolio of around 40 worldwide patents from CPT IP Holdings, LLC.
Competition between Asia’s big battery makers has seen lithium-ion become the dominant technology for large-scale energy storage systems in the past six years.
Underpinning the rise is cost reductions and a build-up of the auto and power sectors’ supply chain as competition between China's BYD, GCL, South Korea's Samsung SDI, LG Chem and Japan's Panasonic intensifies, according to a report by analytics firm IHS Technology.