Equipped with marine battery, 20 Billion Lithium electric ships market to 2025

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Nowadays, one of the applications of lithium marine battery – shipbuilding industry, is gradually improving, and blue ocean development is already in progress.

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The development of electric ships

The birth of electric ship can be traced back to 1839. At that time, German scientists developed the world’s first electric ship. By 1881 and 1882, France and the United Kingdom had successfully carried out new electric ship trials respectively; at the same time, the United Kingdom also established the world’s first fleet of electric yachts operating and renting along the Thames River, and built a series of charging stations .

However, since the motor technology of electric ship is still immature and the marine battery performance needs to be improved, electric ships are mostly used in small ferries and yachts in inland waters. With the development of more powerful diesel engines and the convenience of fuel supply, electric ships have gradually lost their market and their development has come to a halt.

After marine power entered the era of diesel engines, marine diesel and heavy fuel oil became the main fuels. The exhaust gas emitted after combustion contains a large number of pollutants such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur oxides, which will have a bad impact on the ecological environment.

The statistic shows that about 80% of international trade is carried out by ship transportation, and the resulting environmental pollution cannot be underestimated. It is estimated that the sulfide emissions of a 10,000-TEU container ship are equivalent to 270,000 heavy-duty trucks under normal operating conditions. If effective emission reduction measures are not taken, the greenhouse gas emissions of the shipping industry will reach 12% – 18% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

In order to cope with the impact of ship operation on the environment, countries have begun to actively seek alternative power fuels for ships, hoping to significantly reduce the use of traditional diesel powered ships.

Electric ships powered by pure electricity have the characteristics of zero pollution emissions, and thus are favored by the shipping industry. Compared with traditional fuel-powered ships, electric ships have unique advantages in controlling waste emission pollution and noise pollution.

In 2025, the marine battery market will exceed 20 billion

According to the open market data, the electric ship market broke out in 2018, and continued to grow at a multiple speed in 2019, which coincides with the time node when China’s lithium marine battery industry has made great progress. Specifically as shown in the figure below:

marine battery
Figure: The construction of electric ships in the past 40 years

In addition, we noticed that pure electric ships (lithium marine battery) developed earlier in foreign countries, and Norway is the country with the largest number of large electric ships in the world, mainly ferries on island routes.

It is mainly used abroad in small luxury cruise ships, passenger ships and other ship types that require high system stability and comfort, as well as engineering ships and coastal rescue ships.

In terms of the domestic market, statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics show that the total number of motor ships in 2018 was 125700, and the net weight tonnage of inland ships in 2018 was 195 million tons. In 2018, the total output value of China’s electric ship lithium marine battery market was 44 million, that is, the proportion of China’s ship electrification in 2018 was 0.016%, and the market share was very small.

If 50% of the total number of ships in the inland lake is calculated based on the electrification ratio, the total tonnage of the electric ship market will reach 98 million tons in 2018. According to the current range of lithium marine battery power for ships is 1.2-1.35 KWh/ton, and the unit power of each ship is 1.3 KWh, the theoretical demand of lithium battery market for electric ships in 2018 will reach 127 GWh. This is the potential market size.

According to the actual situation, the lithium electrochemical penetration rate of electric ships in 2020, 2022 and 2025 is calculated based on 0.045%, 0.55% and 18.5% of the electrification rate. Then, the lithium marine battery market for electric ships will reach 35.41GWh by 2025.

Based on the current marine lithium iron phosphate battery of 0.6yuan/Wh, the market size of marine battery will reach 35.41GWh*0.6yuan/Wh=21.24 billion yuan in 2025.

Lithium iron phosphate benefits the most

Lithium iron phosphate batteries have good safety, long cycle performance, good high temperature stability, and low cost, which is the best choice for marine power. Wu Kai, vice president of CATL, said: “Lithium iron phosphate batteries have become the best choice for marine battery at this stage with their high safety, long life, low cost, and balance of performance.”

In terms of energy density, the single energy density currently used for electric iron phosphate batteries currently used in electric ships has been increased from 100WH / kg in the past to 160WH / kg, and the system energy density has also been greatly improved.

In terms of price, the price of lithium iron phosphate has dropped to RMB0.6 / WH, which is economical in the field of ship applications.

In terms of safety and economics, in recent years, the lithium iron phosphate marine battery and battery management system (BMS) have developed rapidly. The increase in the power charging power has enabled the ship to start acceleration and power control. It already has the technical conditions for promoting and applied to the ship.

Now the lithium marine battery used in Marine for domestic market is lithium iron phosphate.

Industrial difficulties and bottlenecks

In the preliminary development stage, the electrification market of ships also has problems such as security, technical, economical, and incomplete supporting facilities.

The first is safety. Lithium ion batteries may cause safety accidents such as combustion and explosion due to over -charging, discharge, short circuit and heat shocks, and lithium ion batteries around the world occur from time to time. In October 2019, the marine battery room of the “MF YTTEROYNINEN” passenger ship under the Norwegian ferry ship company NORLED, a severe gas explosion in the battery chamber of the passenger ship. Twelve firefighters were taken to the hospital for contact with harmful gases related to batteries. Whether electric ships which rely on lithium batteries with high safety requirements can successfully  to enter the shipping market or not. The key is whether to solve the systemic problems of operating safety guarantee.

Followed by technical question. At present, the energy storage density of electric ship energy storage batteries is the primary technical difficulty affecting the development of electric ships. Just as the development of pure electric heavy trucks is limited by “short battery life and self -significant” flaws, electric ships that are under large development are also facing the same problem -the endurance and self -weight are restricted by each other, and it is difficult to get both. The larger the battery life of the electric ship battery, the greater the space and weight of its occupation, and the greater the weight of the ship’s shipping ship, which leads to further reduction in the economy of electric ship operations.

The third is economy. At present, small capacity electric ships are generally used in short -distance and small transportation fields such as ferry and sightseeing boats, and they have not demanding endurance. The battery of large -capacity electric ships must not only meet certain power requirements, but also have high battery life. Such a huge battery capacity demand undoubtedly increases the construction cost investment of electric ships. At the same time, because the life of lithium batteries for ships is generally 10 years, and the life cycle of the ship is usually 30 years, the cost of replacing the battery during use is also higher.

The fourth is incomplete supporting facilities. For ports, the initial construction of power supply facilities is large, operating and maintenance costs are high, and huge investment facilities have a low return on charging facilities, so that the construction of shore -based charging facilities cannot be expanded for large -scale commercialization.

In addition, the product and technical standards are not uniform, and it also limits the development of the electric ship industry. In the field of electric ships, there is no technical standard for charging equipment. The existing electric ship’s charging equipment is still a “one ship, one strategy”.

Want To Learn More About Lithium Battery industry?

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Summary: The emerging ship electrification market will also exist or like that when electric vehicles are initially emerged. However, the process of development cannot be scrapped due to choking. As long as the direction is correct, the ship electrification and marine battery market will be promising.

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