CATL and Other Battery Makers Race to Stay Ahead of Tesla Batteries

CATL is the largest lithium-ion battery supplier in the world and they plan to increase production by four times to 263 GWh in 2023.

CATL Chairman Zeng Yuqun said global lithium battery market demand will increase significantly starting in 2021. Zeng said growth of capacity in the entire industry chain is relatively slow, and effective supply is insufficient.

LG Chem is more than doubling its battery capacity by 2023.

LG Chem and CATL had almost half of the 192.9 GWh of the global electric car batteries in 2020. They would have 370 GWh in 2023 based upon expansion plans. Tesla would have access to about 600-800 GWh in batteries in 2023 based upon expansion plans of Tesla, CATL, Panasonic and LG Chem. This would be enough batteries for 6-10 million cars.

On Tesla Battery Day, Tesla said they would have a 100 GWh/year by 2022 and a 10 GWh/year pilot plant by the end of 2021 and at least 3 TWh per year by 2030. If Tesla hits Battery Day plans then Tesla could surpass CATL by 2023.

Musk and Baglino said one assembly line will make 20 GWh/year. Seven times the output in current assembly lines. The production lines will need six or seven revisions. Each factory revision in the machine (that makes the machine) is once every three or four months. There has already been one revision since the Sept, 2020 battery day.

Tesla battery day was about announcing Tesla believed it had major solutions to scaling batteries and factories and the battery supply chain. Other battery makers will need to shake up their plans to keep pace.

Possible Tesla Battery Growth
2021  10 GWh/year
2022  110 GWh/year
2023  310 GWh/year
2024  610 GWh/year
2025  1010 GWh/year
2026  1410 GWh/year
2027  1810 GWh/year
2028  2210 GWh/year
2029  2610 GWh/year
2030  3010 GWh/year

CATL is working on utility-scale battery storage and charging stations and better batteries.

Written By Brian Wang, (Brian owns shares of Tesla)

10 thoughts on “CATL and Other Battery Makers Race to Stay Ahead of Tesla Batteries”

  1. Very good point. It could also help with a problem I have been considering, which is how to get MW of energy from the nuclear plants to all the truck stops in the US, over 6000 of them. We cannot place a nuclear plant at all of them (something I saw an article on recently) or put a solar plant at each one. Battery powered tractor trailers will use A LOT of power, and I suspect the necessary power lines would be prohibitively expensive to run and maintain. If we transport it through ammonia tankers, it wouldn't be much different than today.
    Not sure how the economics would work out though, or whether it would be better to just use the ammonia as fuel instead of converting to electricity at the station. A fuel spill would be a lot less toxic considering bacterial nitrification. If we just use ammonia for fuel we would limit the necessary changes compared to how we already do things.

  2. Note that any cheap energy storage would also help nuclear replace fossil. Build enough nuclear to cover the average energy demand & run it continuously at full power. Then fill the storage when demand is less than average, empty the storage when demand is greater than average.

  3. Thank you for bringing SSAS to my attention. I've been reading up on it, and it is fascinating. ARPA-e is working on it, and it seems researchers are coming up with a more efficient process all the time.
    If the cost of solar energy keeps dropping, this may become a popular method of saving excess energy from solar even if it doesn't get too much more efficient. Especially for private residence use as opposed to grid storage usage, which does not need to be uber cost effective for it to be attractive to people like me, off grid and not likely to get on the grid for a while. Alaska has long summer days and VERY short winter days, so a way to store excess solar energy is desperately needed.
    With technologies like this , flow batteries or others it doesn't seem too long before renewable energy is able to really come into its own.

  4. A more efficient nitrogen -> ammonia process is probably more important than even a cheaper energy storage method.

    Haber-Bosch chews up a material % of total world energy use.

  5. That is about a better catalyst to get Haber-Bosch to run at much lower temperatures than is currently done. Not the same thing, but it might lower the cost of ammonia production almost as much as the SSAS people I mentioned are hoping for.

  6. This seems like a trap. CATL is increasing its production of yesterday's technology. Tesla will change to a new technology that obsoletes them, and CATL will be married to an albatross.

  7. Several years ago I read about some people working on 'Solid State Ammonia Synthesis". A device in which you put in nitrogen from air, water, & electricity, and get out ammonia & oxygen. Maybe also run it in reverse as an ammonia fuel cell.
    That would do what you are talking about.
    Since the energy per liter of ammonia is a bit under half that of gasoline, (way higher than any battery), ammonia made that way would also take over the vehicle market.

  8. Batteries are getting to be like solar panels, drastically dropping in price while increasing in performance. The batteries that interest me the most though are the liquid batteries like the redox flow batteries. If they can nail those down, the end of the carbon age will accelerate drastically. I wouldn't mind one for my off grid property in Alaska.

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