More power for cell manufacturers
The greater the demand for electric cars, the more power the cell manufacturers take over. Few of them already dominate 80 percent of the market, including well-known companies such as Pansasonic, LG Chem, Samsung SDI and Murata. But new producers are also entering the market and growing very fast, for example SK Innovation, CATL, BYD or Lishen. This market has thus been lost to Asians - two Japanese, three Korean and three Chinese companies. For example, CATL was ranked number one in China in seven years and achieved top rankings in the highly competitive future market. An unfamiliar picture for the big automobile companies - usually they determine the prices in negotiations with suppliers. But the greater the demand for electric cars and battery-powered applications, the more power cell makers get and their prices increase significantly.
"Cell manufacturers are taking advantage of their current market position and determining who will be supplied with cells at all and for what prices. Thanks to long-term supply contracts, the BMZ Group secured high volumes at an early stage without having to depend on one single cell manufacturer. Our customers appreciate this security of supply in the fiercely competitive market", says Sven Bauer, CEO & Founder of the BMZ Group. BMZ uses around 300 million lithium-ion cells a year, among others in electric vehicles and the trend is rising. BMZ introduced lithium-ion technology in Europe more than 25 years ago and has dominated the European market ever since.
Soon self-produced cells
At the same time, BMZ began developing lithium-ion cells ten years ago and is currently still producing them from the major Asian companies. "We have invested in our own lines with the current know-how carriers, which currently benefits us", said Bauer with a mischievous smile on his face. In addition to its own production lines in Asia, BMZ can meet this high demand by acquiring TerraE and is planning a German cell production. Already the first major car manufacturers are looking for talks on TerraE in order to secure the capacity of the cell production planned for 2020. A first step in independence from the Asian companies.
Jobs are affected
So, in the near future, every fifth job will depend on the storage technology, which probably nobody is really aware of. The range of corresponding products is enormous: Whether the garden tool or the electric lawn mower, the electric bicycle or the electric vacuum cleaner, every laptop, every smartphone, in the future also the storage for solar energy, the electric car and even the navigation device. Which companies and which jobs in Germany are affected when suddenly there are no more cells from Asia? Just a few examples:
- Powertool manufacturers
- Gardentool manufacturers
- Bicycle manufacturers
- Energy Storage manufacturers
- Medical companies
- Car manufacturers
- Forklift manufacturers