According to NHK, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) recently said that Japan will vigorously develop new energy and battery industries targeting China and South Korea in the future. It plans to increase Japan’s battery production capacity to 600GWh by 2030, accounting for 20% of the global market share.
At a recent meeting to discuss battery strategy, The ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry identified “enhancing international competitiveness” as the industry’s top goal. “Chinese and South Korean companies are actively investing in batteries and growing at a phenomenal rate, and Japan also needs to step forward and provide solid support.” Japan’s trade minister said.
According to the ministry of economy, trade and industry, Japanese battery makers will increase their domestic production capacity from about 20 GWh now to 150 GWh by 2030. Japanese battery makers will increase their global production capacity from 60 to 70GWh now to 600GWh and increase their global market share to 20% by 2030. In addition, the plan calls for full commercialization of all-solid-state batteries around 2030.
According to some estimates, 600GWh is equivalent to the capacity needed for 8m electric cars. According to the ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japanese battery makers need to increase production capacity about tenfold within eight years.
Currently, batteries are mainly used in electric vehicles and energy storage systems. Batteries are key to Japan’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, metI said, as they are the most important technology for electrifying cars and other mobile devices, and crucial for adjusting electricity supply and demand to promote the use of renewable energy.
Meti plans to work out a final battery strategy and specific government support measures this summer, which could include a subsidy system for the battery business.
“We will step up our support to help the Japanese battery industry regain global market share,” Nobutaka Takeo, director of METI’s battery industry office, told the media. “The industry has lost market share to Competition from China and South Korea in the past few years.”
According to the data, Japan’s global market share of electric vehicle batteries fell from 40 percent in 2015 to 21 percent in 2020, and that of batteries for energy storage systems fell from 27 percent in 2016 to 5 percent in 2020.
According to the global power battery installed capacity rankings in 2021 released by SNE Research, the top 10 global power battery installed capacity in 2021 are ningde Times, LG New Energy, Panasonic, BYD, SK On, Samsung SDI, China New Aviation (AVIC Lithium), Guoxin High-tech, Vision Power, honeycomb Energy.
According to the list, most of the top 10 companies with the highest power battery installation volume are from China and South Korea, among which there are 6 Chinese companies, 3 Korean companies and 1 Japanese company.
Panasonic, a Japanese battery company, ranks third in the number of power battery units installed globally, just behind Ningde Times and LG New Energy, two power battery giants in China and South Korea. With 36.1GWh installed last year, the company’s market share was 12.2 percent, down more than 6 percentage points from 2020. The market share of Japanese enterprises is on the decline, lower than the average level of the market.
The high prosperity of the global new energy vehicle industry has expanded the demand for batteries. In addition to battery manufacturers, three mainstream car companies in Japan are also adding power batteries, and taking the solid-state battery technology route as an important direction of electrification transformation.
Japan now leads the world with 68 per cent of international patents related to all-solid-state battery technology, followed by the US with 16 per cent and South Korea with 12 per cent, according to Samsung SDI. Among them, Japan’s Toyota group has more than 1,000 solid-state battery patents.
Toyota plans to invest a total of 1.5 trillion yen (about 76 billion yuan) to develop power batteries and their supply chain by 2030, and to achieve small-scale production of all-solid-state batteries by 2025.
On April 11, Nissan motor officially announced a pilot production facility for laminated soft-pack all-solid-state battery cells, with plans to complete a production line and put into use in 2024. Nissan previously announced plans to invest a total of 140 billion yen (about 79 billion yuan) in solid-state battery research and development by fiscal year 2026, achieve mass production of solid-state batteries by fiscal year 2028, and launch its first electric model with all-solid-state batteries.
Honda, Japan’s second largest automaker, announced on April 12 that it will spend about 5 trillion yen (about $1 trillion) on electrification and software technology over the next 10 years to speed up the process. At the same time, Honda plans to invest 43 billion yen (about 2.2 billion yuan) to build an all-solid-state battery demonstration line.
In recent years, solid-state batteries using glass compounds made of lithium and sodium as conduction materials have been widely considered as a more suitable power battery technology route for electric vehicles. The energy density and thermal stability of solid-state batteries are significantly better than those of liquid lithium batteries, and the battery life is longer and the volume is smaller. According to the agency forecast, by 2030, the global solid-state battery demand is expected to reach 500GWh, the market scale is more than 300 billion yuan.