COVID-19 Impact on Lithium-Ion Batteries in Chemicals and Materials Industry

COVID-19 Impact on Lithium-Ion Batteries in Chemicals and Materials Industry

  • Chemical and Materials
  • Sep 28, 2020

COVID-19 Impact on Lithium-Ion Batteries in Chemicals and Materials Industry

INTRODUCTION

The working of the lithium battery started in hardware items in 1912 beneath the supervision of G.N. Lewis more advancement was wiped out 1970’s  and the primary non-rechargeable lithium batteries was made and got to be commercially accessible in numerous districts. Lithium products are the lightest of all metals and have the greatest properties of electrochemical potential which provides the largest energy density for weight and increases its application. Lithium-ion batteries are the products which are manufactured with the use of the lithium ions as primary component of the raw material.

From 2010 onwards, the annual consumption capacity of lithium-ion batteries in various applications has increased with 500% which resulted in the higher demand of the lithium-ion batteries in various regions as lithium-ion batteries products are now powering different products from lawn mowers to ferries. Although lithium-ion batteries products are nontoxic in nature similarly as lead-acid or nickel cadmium batteries which are used in various applications, lithium-ion batteries contain components which should be avert from being exposed in high temperature environment due to which the demand for the lithium-ion batteries is increasing in the end use applications.

The most significant increase of the lithium-ion batteries is found in the automotive industry for the advance use of the battery technology in the automotive has propelled the rapid adoption of electric cars and buses in several regions. In 2018, there is a cumulative increase in the number of electric cars in the world which resulting in increase in the demand of the cars to 4 million and even many estimates point at a global market share increases by 20% for the electric car in 2025 which result in the increases in the demand of the lithium-ion batteries. The demands of lithium-ion battery in electric vehicles is more and also have demand in other applications such as data centers and to power fork lifts, telecom base stations and, electric scooters and bikes.

Lithium batteries are widely used in our daily life products such as in tablets, mobile phones and cameras as lithium-ion batteries are more used in the portable devices which can easily carried from one place to another as with the increasing of demand of the electronic consumer goods the demand for the lithium-ion batteries will also increase in the global lithium-ion batteries market. In the lithium-ion batteries system, carbon materials and components are replacing the metal lithium components which store and release lithium ions in the electrochemical process in batteries which increasing the efficiency of the lithium-ion batteries.

In addition, lithium batteries are self-discharge batteries which consume less than half power as compared to others large nickel-cadmium batteries which make lithium-ion batteries well suited for modern fuel gauge applications in residential and electronic products and also lithium-ion cells are very efficient and resulting in little harm as compared to others at the time of disposed of.

IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES

COVID-19 has affected the global economy and resulting into significant decline in the demand products and raw material which are produce by various major industries in the regions. Several industries such as energy storage, electronic and automobile industry is facing challenges in project development, shipment delays, manufacturing and research and development of the new products for the market growth as the demand of the products have also fallen down due to the lock down in the regions.

In Asia-Pacific region, China country is the major manufacturer of lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery, CATL and BYD products but due the pandemic situation occurred due to the Coronavirus resulted into the announcement of production delays of the products which are used by several end users. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are facing problems of the source battery and raw materials as most of the raw material are from China, are the most vulnerable to the disruptions in the market.

OEMs in several regions have managed to procure lithium-ion battery materials from alternate sources in Korea, Japan and Taiwan at high prices which resulted in the lower down of the revenue and financial structure, with the alternate sources of production manufacturers are only capable of meeting the short-term demand which are arising from different end users in developing nations.

China is the major producer of the lithium-ion battery but due to the pandemic situation in the country production is on halt which leads to suspended operations and production of lithium-ion battery. With the lower production of the lithium-ion battery manufactures were not able to full fil the demand of the due to low production although the production have fallen down by the end users.

COVID-19 has impacting all business verticals from retailing to project commissioning which affect the demand of the lithium-ion battery. COVID-19 has done outbreak in demand has resulted in the downfall in markets such as the U.S. and Europe. The lithium-ion battery manufacturing industry in China has witness a downfall in the demand of 25GWh to 30GWh in capacity in 2020 due to COVID-19-induced market challenges and manufactures have to face the challenge for the shortage of the raw material for the manufacturing.

Due to the ongoing pandemic logistics, transportation, raw materials supply and labor resulting in more challenges for the manufactures which is leading to increased operating costs for manufacturers resulting in price of the lithium-ion battery products. For manufactures, rise in costs of lithium-ion battery items will moreover affect the budgetary returns of under-construction ventures, auto motive industry and also show decline in the demand of lithium-ion battery demand.   

Manufactures are facing difficulties for engaging more business development activities in the business due to quarantine measures and forced by the government of different regions which resulted in the changes in daily operations of the manufactures. COVID-19 have more impact on the small manufactures as due to the interruption in the supply chain which resulting in the lower the import and export from different regions and downfall in business revenue.

COVID-19 have increases the restrictions in the regions which is impacting the flow of labor and materials for assembly and testing and commissioning of battery systems which is increasing the cost of the batteries and lowering the demand by automation and electronic manufactures.

COVID-19 have resulted in the economy slowdown and drop in the demand for lithium-ion battery as the demand by particularly segment such as residential and commercial sectors have fallen down. Countries integral for the production of lithium and other metals which needed for large battery manufacturer for different end user but due to the restriction implemented by several governments to control virus transmission have resulted in lower the production of lithium-ion battery.

HIGHLY USE OF LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES IN FOLLOWING INDUSTRIES

IMPACT ON ELECTRONIC INDUSTRY

During the COVID-19, the demand of the electrical and electronic goods has fallen down which has resulted into lower demand of lithium-ion batteries which are used as the raw material to produce finish goods. The import and export of the electrical and electronic goods for different countries have fallen down as due to lock down for several months which resulted in lower production of the electrical goods in the industry which resulted in lower demand of lithium-ion batteries which effect global lithium-ion batteries market.

As China is the largest producer and exporter of the electronic goods such as mobile, laptops, consumer electronic goods and storage batteries which are highly used in the residential and commercial for the storage of power and also used in the electricity storage in grids but due to the increase in the spread of the Coronavirus in the country, the export of the lithium-ion batteries have been put on paused by the other country countries through China which have impacted the lithium-ion batteries manufactures on the larger extend.

Lithium-ion batteries are highly used in the mobile, laptops and invertors which can be used after charge of the lithium-ion batteries. With the lower demand of the electronic goods the demand for the lithium-ion batteries have also fallen which resulted into the fall down of the price of the lithium-ion batteries in global lithium-ion batteries market which will affect the market growth in future. Due to the COVID-19 several companies in the electronic goods have also halt the launches and production of the new models by seeing the low demand in the electronic market.

For instance,

  • Apple Inc. has already declared delays in iPhone productions during COVID-19 situation.
  • Foxconn Technology Co., Ltd Company has not yet confirmed the reopen factories and production of goods, Foxconn Technology Co., Ltd has stopped almost all of their production in China.
  • The companies such as SHARP CORPORATION, Nintendo. Nintendo and SONY have also announced delays in their productions.
  • Nintendo said the disruption in the production of electronic goods.
  • SHARP CORPORATION could move production out of China due to the COVID-19 situation.
  • Electrolux, an electronics appliances manufacturer has come in contingency mode.
  • Facebook also resulted in a delay in the production of Oculus Quest Virtual Reality Headset.
  • AT&S, a major manufacturer of substrates semiconductors and high-end printed circuit boards, delayed the production in China which is affected by the spread of the virus.
  • Xiaomi company have postpones the launch of the Mi 10 which was scheduled on March 31, 2020.
  • Realme company have also postpone the launch Realme Narzo 10 & 10A in India.
  • Motorola has postponed the launch of its flagship flip phone which was planned on April 2, 2020.
  • Vivo brand have also postpone the launch of V19 a new smart phone which was planned on March 26, 2020.

IMPACT ON AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

Lithium-ion batteries of heavy power capacity are more used in electric vehicles and industrial uses. Lithium-ion batteries lower the fuel consumption and lower the cost of the machinery due to which demand of the Lithium-ion batteries is increasing in the automotive industry. Several manufactures are launching the new cars, heavy duty vehicles which can run on the Lithium-ion batteries for longer duration.

The manufacturing of the electronic vehicle in all the region have fallen down which resulted in the lower manufacturing of machinery and electronic cars in all regions. As 18% of auto components imported from China and 30% of tiers are also imports from China to other countries. As Coronavirus have greatly impacted China which leads to lower production of the electronic cars and import by the other countries have also been stop due to risk of spread of Coronavirus in their country which leads in the delay in the launches of the new models of electronic vehicle.

European automotive sector have faced unexpected crises as BMW and Volkswagen concentrated on their new products instead and Euro Temporary closures of plants and industries is accounted by European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) due to collapsing demand of automobile in the region, supply shortages due to supply chain disruptions with other regions. Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) also declares that the auto industry will result in estimated loss of USD 23,000 Million loss per day due to lockdown.

The COVID-19 have bring the outbreak in the demand of the lithium-ion batteries and is leading negative results for electric vehicle deals and battery fabricating capacity for all manufacturers which lowers the development of worldwide lithium-ion batteries market. . In developing nations several auto companies including startup and other large manufactures which are investing huge amount of money towards the electric cars and other machines development are finding difficulties to in investments due to the lower demand of the automobiles in the nations. Manufactures also result in delayed launch of new products and auto expo.

For instance,

  • The delay in the launch of BMW X1 facelift electronic car which was planned in March in India.
  • ETAuto got delayed or postponed due to the Coronavirus crisis and the lockdown uncertainties. Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 electric SUV delayed its launch due to the spread of Coronavirus.
  • General Motors is delaying the upcoming reveal of the new all-electric Hummer truck because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The delay in the launch of Volkswagen T-Roc electronic car which was planned in March in India.

FIGURE 1.    PRICE OF LITHIUM CARBONATE FROM JANUARY TO JUNE 2020 (USD/TON)

COVID-19 Impact on Lithium-Ion Batteries in Chemicals and Materials IndustryFrom the above diagram we can infer that the downfall in the lithium carbonate price which effect the production of the Lithium-ion batteries price. In year January 2020, the price of the lithium carbonate is 7,149.43 (USD/Ton) which has fallen to 7,010.70 (USD/Ton) in the month of February. The price of the lithium carbonate is constantly decreasing in the due to the lower demand of the lithium-ion batteries as in March price was 6,846.43 (USD/Tons), April price was 6,514.50 (USD/Tons), May price was 6,224.84 (USD/Tons) and in month of June price was 5,999.40 (USD/Tons). The falling down of the lithium carbonate price has affected the growth of the global Lithium-ion batteries market.

CONCLUSION

On concluding with the spread of COVID-19 pandemic around the globe have hit the entire sector of production and almost on all the industries which resulted in the lower demand of the goods. The demand of the finished product have fall in the countries which resulting into the lower import and export of the goods with other regions which have negative impact on the lithium-ion batteries manufactures.

The demand of the electronic goods have fallen down and several companies have also delayed the production of the new model due to less demand in the market which resulted in less demand of the Lithium-ion batteries. Auto sector is highly hit by the pandemic situation as demand of the electronic vehicles have fallen down in all the regions and manufactures are also not able to put money in the production due to less demand in the market which resulted in the less demand of the lithium-ion batteries for the electronic vehicles.

Eventually, with the increase crude oil prices in the future will increase the demand of the electronic vehicles in the global market which will have the positive impact on the demand of the electronic vehicles which will increase the demand for the lithium-ion batteries for the electronic vehicles. The falling down in the lithium carbonate price during the pandemic situation has also impacted the revenue of the lithium-ion batteries manufactures in the global lithium-ion batteries market.

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