China is a big country in the production and sales of electric bicycles in the world. After years of market development, people's awareness of environmental protection has been strengthened. The concept of green travel has been deeply rooted in people's hearts. Electric bicycles have gradually become an important means of transportation for consumers to travel short distances. According to data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the China Bicycle Association, the current social capacity of electric bicycles in China is about 200 million, and the annual output has stabilized at around 30 million vehicles per year since 2015. In 2017, the sales volume of electric bicycles in China was about 29 million. In 2018, due to the introduction of the industry's “new national standard” and environmental protection policies, sales volume declined.
According to SMM research, the current industrial concentration of the electric bicycle industry is not high. The top three market share rankings are Yadi, Emma and Taiwan Bell, but the three companies together account for less than 50% of the total market share. They told SMM that at present, the battery in the electric bicycle industry is still dominated by lead-acid, and lithium batteries are not yet in large-volume applications. The proportion of lithium-ion batteries in commercial models is about 10%.
Regarding the application advantages of lead-acid batteries in the electric bicycle industry, many industry stakeholders have indicated to SMM that there are two main points:
Lead-acid batteries cost less
This is the core reason why electric bicycle manufacturers choose lead-acid batteries. Since the overall structure of electric bicycles is not complicated, the industry has a low barrier to entry. Manufacturers basically rely on low-cost vehicles to obtain profits, and each electric bicycle The purchase cost of lithium-ion batteries and lead-acid batteries varies from 200 yuan to 1,000 yuan. For this price-sensitive industry, the increase in cost means that consumers are more likely to choose other brands. At the same time, the current life expectancy of electric bicycles is about 3 years. For consumers who are mainly middle class, the willingness to purchase lithium battery electric bicycles is lower.
Lead-acid battery recycling system is more mature
Tianneng Group, a major producer of lead-acid batteries, told SMM that the company began to recycle batteries in 2008. At present, it has a complete battery recycling system. The number of used batteries recovered has accounted for 70%-80% of the output. The lead-acid packaged in the molded case can be recycled. Relatively speaking, the lithium battery itself developed late, and various recycling companies began to invest large-scale in the period from 2016 to 2017.
SMM analysis, the current industry in order to meet the "new national standard" requirements mainly have the following three ways. The first is to develop and produce lightweight lead-acid batteries. A number of lead-acid battery manufacturers have indicated to SMM that research has begun. However, the production technology and production line of lead-acid batteries are relatively mature, and it is not easy to achieve the requirements of the “new national standard” standard in a short period of time; the second is to produce a lightweight body. For the car manufacturer, this step is relatively easy to control, but since the previous weight of the electric bicycle is mainly concentrated on the battery, it is difficult to meet the standard by reducing the weight of the vehicle; the third is the original lead acid. Replace the battery with a lithium battery. For the current electric bicycle companies, the development of the upstream and downstream industry chain is very mature, and it is not easy to directly replace suppliers. However, with the continuous improvement of consumer brand awareness in the future, the industry usually adopts the first method of adding the second way to make a transition. It is a trend to further replace lead-acid batteries for electric bicycles.