Benchmark Mineral Intelligence’s Lithium ion Megafactory Assessment exceeds 2,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) as the first solid state battery plant was added to the tracker in the July 2019 review published in August 2019.
Benchmark Minerals is now tracking 96 battery plants with a total capacity 2,030.1 GWh of production by 2028. This figure shows battery megafactories with plans in the pipeline – it’s important to note that it does not represent a forecast, but shows a statement of intent from the industry to build new capacity.
The Megafactory Assessment saw its first solid state battery megafactory as Qing Tao New Energy’s announced plans for the first GWh-scale solid state battery plant. The company is constructing a 1GWh plant in Yichun, Jiangxi, China, which is expected to enter phase one of production in late-2019 to early-2020.
Phase two plans are ambitious. Qing Tao New Energy has stated it plans to enter phase two of construction before the end of Q2 2020. The plant is set to have 10 GWh of capacity upon the completion of phase two plans. However, Benchmark Minerals believes the aggressive phase two timelines put forward by Qing Tao are unlikely to be met – and we anticipate these plans to happen later than scheduled.
How viable are solid state batteries?
While solid state technology promises to supersede today’s lithium ion batteries there is still some way to go before we will see them in large-scale commercial use.
Aside from ongoing technical challenges, end markets for solid state batteries are currently limited, due to the high cost of production which is largely attributed to limited production scale and high raw material input costs.
Further commercialisation is required before solid state technology can be used in electric vehicles. Therefore 10 GWh capacity in the time frame proposed by Qing Tao, could be an over-expansion and would likely see extremely low utilisation rates.
Solid state technology still has a number of significant hurdles to overcome before mass adoption of the technology, particularly for the electric vehicle market. Benchmark Minerals expects that this development will happen over a 10-year timeframe for electric vehicles as a minimum, with the technology likely to be used in military and high-end electronic applications prior to this.
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