Cylindrical batteries offer advantages such as advanced security and high energy density, which, if mass-produced successfully, could enhance the range of EVs.
Photo by Fan Jianlei
By ZHOU Shuqi, ZHUANG Jian
There are reports suggesting that Nio is preparing to establish a joint venture with SVOLT Energy to develop cylindrical batteries. Some engineer teams will be merged, but both parties will maintain independent manufacturing and procurement business.
If these reports are accurate, it signifies that Nio may be relinquishing its in-house development of cylindrical batteries in favor of seeking a more practicable strategy. Cylindrical batteries offer advantages such as advanced security and high energy density, which, if mass-produced successfully, could enhance the range of EVs.
Nio is one of the few EV companies in the battery industry chain. Nio's founder, LI Bin, had previously announced that the subsidiary brand, Alps, would feature Nio's own batteries. However, these plans have been delayed due to Nio's poor financial H1 results, losing 6 billion yuan in Q2.
Nio now needs to concentrate more on selling more cars. For Nio, which has just emerged from a crisis, any misstep could spell doom.
Mass production of cylindrical batteries will be no easy task. Tesla hasn't done it, despite years of trying. Panasonic, Japan's largest lithium battery manufacturer, won't have anything to show for more than a year.