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Output growth, feature upgrades spur Li-polymer battery line

Suppliers are emphasizing increased capacity and stability in streamlined designs.
China makers of Li-polymer batteries are boosting output and enhancing product features to strengthen competitiveness further, especially against the dominant Li-ion. Manufacturers are also keen to match requirements in mobile phones, tablet and notebook PCs, digital cameras and electric vehicles, including bicycles and hybrid EVs.

Changzhou Heco New Energy Tech Co. Ltd is gearing up for a 100 percent increase in yield this year. The supplier plans to buy new equipment to achieve this objective.

Unitedcells Co. Ltd is eyeing a 30 percent jump in turnout. Shenzhen Pkcell Battery Co. Ltd, which bolstered output by 10 percent in 2011, is looking at a 10 or even 20 percent rise by this year’s end.

China’s aggregate yield is also projected to expand further as businesses shift to Li-polymer.

As regards development initiatives, suppliers are emphasizing slimmer designs yet increasing capacity, safety and stability. More companies are rolling out superthin and high-capacity units for portable electronics. Smartphones, in particular, are spurring the release of 0.5mm-thick models, which are significantly smaller than the 3.2 to 7mm counterparts currently available.

In terms of capacity, a growing number of enterprises are looking to offer 1,500mAh variants. Mainstream kinds start at 250 and top out at 1,200mAh.

Suppliers likewise highlight elevated consistency, safety and stability. Many are steering clear of flammable adhesives, and incorporating overheating and -load protection circuitry. Some are exploring new formulations for the anode and cathode. Several are using cobalt with LiFePO₄, and others combine ternary materials and LiCoO₂.

In addition to portable electronics, EVs are forecast to fuel China’s Li-polymer batter y line. Global shipments of EVs are predicted to climb by over 30 percent by 2015, according to ESM China. In 2020, these are forecast to hit 8.3 million units, accounting for 10 percent of the automotive industry’s total. Hybrid EVs will have a 70 percent share, with plug-in types reaching 1.5 million units.

Many enterprises have released batteries for the application, and more are expected to follow. SouthRiver Products Ltd is working on variants for HEVs and EVs, planning to launch them in the next one or two years.

The domestic car manufacturing sector is also anticipated to provide opportunities as the national government promotes new-energy vehicle development within the next decade. The latter is investing $15 million in the undertaking, the Ministry of Information Industry said.
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