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双语阅读 全球汽车制造商竞相锁定锂供应

已有 102 次阅读2018-3-13 14:21


  As Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors rolled out theirelectric cars for the mass market in 2010, Japanesemanufacturers placed enthusiastic bets on a surgein battery demand. But the electric vehiclerevolution failed to materialise and much of theirinvestments went sour.

  随着2010年日产(Nissan)和三菱汽车(Mitsubishi Motors)在大众市场推出电动汽车,日本制造商热情地押注于电池需求激增。但电动汽车革命未能实现,它们的大部分投资都打了水漂。

  Nearly a decade later, China and other governmentsare driving a massive push for a future of electric cars as they try to shift consumers awayfrom combustion engines.


  To capture the market for these vehicles, global carmakers from Volkswagen to Tesla areattempting to lock in supplies of raw materials that are needed to increase production of lithiumion batteries, which will power this electric revolution.


  Indeed, electric vehicle supply in China is expected to be one of the main drivers of globaldemand for lithium. By 2030, Goldman Sachs expects China to supply 60 per cent of theworld’s electric vehicles, up from 45 per cent in 2016.

  预计中国的电动汽车供应将成为全球锂需求的主要推动力之一。高盛(Goldman Sachs)预计,到2030年,中国生产的电动汽车将占到全球产量的60%,高于2016年的45%。

  However, the problem for all carmakers is that none of them have “proper long-term contracts”for supply of lithium, according to Simon Moores, founder of London-based BenchmarkMinerals Intelligence.

  然而,据伦敦基准矿业情报(Benchmark Minerals Intelligence)的创始人西蒙?穆尔斯(Simon Moores)表示,所有汽车制造商面临的问题是,它们都没有锂供应的“适当长期合同”。

  Milan Thakore, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie, adds: “I think a lot of car manufacturers arealmost panicking, in the sense they want to make sure they don’t miss out on the essentialmaterials they need for the battery.”

  Wood Mackenzie的分析师米兰?塔科尔(Milan Thakore)补充道:“很多汽车制造商希望确保自己不会缺失这些制造电池所需的关键材料,从这方面来说,我认为它们几乎是感到了恐慌。”

  The fears are particularly pronounced in Japan, once the undisputed leader in rechargeablebattery technology.


  While Japan’s Panasonic remains the world’s biggest supplier of car batteries, China is nowhome to two of the world’s top five suppliers of lithium batteries — CATL and BYD.


  Backed by aggressive government policies and subsidies for electric vehicles, Chinesemanufacturers also control between 50 and 77 per cent of the market for four of the keycomponents — cathode materials, anode materials, electrolyte solutions and separators — usedin lithium ion batteries, according to Yano research Institute.

  矢野经济研究所(Yano Research)的数据显示,在激进的政府政策和电动汽车补贴的支持下,中国制造商还控制着锂离子电池中使用的四种关键原料——阴极材料、阳极材料、电解液和隔膜——市场的50%-77%份额。

  Lacking the financial firepower of government-sponsored Chinese rivals, Japanese carmakershave traditionally relied on homegrown tie-ups with trading houses, battery makers andmaterials suppliers to resolve any shortage in resources.


  But with competition growing globally, Japanese carmakers can no longer resolve shortages inresources through using domestic materials makers alone as they are too stretched and underpressure to supply overseas groups.


  “Their [Japanese material makers] clients will be all over the world,” says Noboru Sato, a visitingprofessor at Nagoya University and a former executive of battery supplier Samsung SDI.

  名古屋大学(Nagoya University)访问教授、电池供应商三星SDI(Samsung SDI)前高管诺博鲁?萨托(Noboru Sato)表示:“它们(日本原材料制造商)的客户将来自世界各地。”

  “While Japanese companies may say they can compete with technology, it’s going to be theinvestment capacity that will be a critical factor for future competition in batteries,” he adds.


  This has prompted some Japanese groups to try to move away from the homegrown model,which has traditionally relied on domestic battery technology that was deemed to be higher inquality than that offered by Chinese groups.


  For example, Nissan last year offloaded its battery business with Japan’s NEC to a Chineseprivate equity group, GSR Capital, as it sought to boost its cost competitiveness.

  例如,去年日产将其与日本NEC的电池业务转让给中国私人股本集团金沙江资本(GSR Capital),因为它试图提高成本竞争力。

  Jun Seki, who heads Nissan’s Chinese joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Group, recentlyindicated the carmaker may procure lithium ion batteries from a Chinese manufacturer to meetlocal government requirements.

  日产与东风汽车集团(Dongfeng Motor Group)在中国的合资企业的负责人关润(Jun Seki)最近暗示,该合资企业可能会向一家中国制造商采购锂离子电池以满足当地政府的要求。

  Toyota is also trying to take the initiative, albeit through the traditional model. In January, itstrading arm agreed on a $224m deal to take a 15 per cent stake in Orocobre, an Australiancompany that produces lithium in Argentina.

  丰田(Toyota)也试图掌握主动,只不过它采用的是传统模式。今年1月,丰田交易部门同意以2.24亿美元收购澳大利亚公司Orocobre 15%的股份。Orocobre在阿根廷生产锂。

  Additionally, the company has taken steps to strengthen its relations with domestic suppliersas it plans to launch electric vehicles in China and India from 2020.


  Significantly, it has deepened its partnership with Panasonic in an effort to acceleratecommercialisation of solid-state batteries, which can hold higher power and charge in less timethan conventional lithium ion batteries.


  The company also owns a stake in Sumitomo Metal Mining, the country’s largest nickel smelter,which supplies cathode materials for Panasonic’s lithium ion batteries that are used in Tesla’selectric vehicles.

  丰田还持有日本最大的镍冶炼企业——住友金属矿业公司(Sumitomo Metal Mining)的股份,后者为特斯拉电动汽车中应用的松下锂离子电池供应阴极材料。

  Elsewhere, Germany’s Volkswagen has launched a tender for five years’ supply of cobalt,although it has struggled to find any takers.


  This month, BMW said it was close to signing a deal for the long-term supply of battery metalslithium and cobalt, while Tesla is also in talks with Chile’s SQM, one of the world’s largest lithiumproducers.


  For their part, Chinese companies are also increasing their investment in lithium producers.


  Johan Van De Ven, of RWR Advisory, a Washington-based consultancy, said the Chinese autoindustry was keen to avoid supply chain bottlenecks that could slow production of electricvehicles.

  华盛顿咨询公司RWR咨询(RWR Advisory)的乔翰?范德万(Johan van de Ven)表示,中国汽车业渴望避免可能会导致电动汽车生产放缓的供应链瓶颈。

  “Establishing control over raw materials can provide the supply chain security that Chinaneeds to meet its ambitious EV targets, and may also allow it to scupper the progress of otherplayers,” he says.


  RWR Advisory recorded more than $1bn in transactions for lithium mines by Chinese companies— particularly car companies and car supply companies, up from zero in 2016 and $178m in2015.


  Among the deals, Chinese carmaker Great Wall Motor signed an agreement with Australianlithium miner Pilbara Minerals to secure supply of the metal for five years.

  在这些交易中,中国汽车制造商长城汽车(Great Wall Motor)与澳大利亚锂矿开采商Pilbara Minerals签署了一份协议以保障五年的锂供应。

  The country’s largest producer of electric vehicles, BYD, also partnered with China’s largestpotash production base, the Qinghai Salt Lake Potash Co, to extract lithium from a salt lakeand make batteries.

  中国最大的电动汽车生产商比亚迪也与中国最大的钾肥生产基地——青海盐湖股份(Qinghai Salt LakePotash Co)合作,从盐湖中提取锂并制造电池。

  China also dominates the supply chain for cobalt — the battery material of top concern forcarmakers as more than half of the world’s supply comes from the unstable DemocraticRepublic of Congo, raising fears among carmakers over security of supply.


  However, despite the initiatives, there are nagging concerns among some groups over whethercompanies should move rapidly towards locking in raw materials deals as the price of lithium andcobalt rises dramatically.


  “Carmakers may need to secure raw materials themselves if they become desperate for lithiumion batteries, but it remains unclear whether electric vehicles will really take off and batteries willevolve,” says Maki Sekimoto, director at the metals research division of state-run agencyJapan, Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation.

  国有的日本石油天然气金属矿产资源机构(JOGMEC)的金属研究部主管Maki Sekimoto表示:“如果汽车制造商迫切需要锂离子电池,它们可能需要自己采购原材料,但目前还不清楚电动汽车是否能够真正起飞以及电池是否会不断发展。”

  “It’s a headache for the industry that there are too many uncertain pieces that make it difficultto make a definitive call on which direction things will go.”







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