Core technology of lithium battery -Lithium - Ion Battery Equipment

Can we buy the core technology of lithium battery? -Lithium - Ion Battery Equipment

Recently, an explosive news triggered a circle of friends. Weichai Power, a Chinese diesel engine giant, reached a strategic cooperation agreement with Ballard Corporation in the neighborhood of fuel powered lithium battery vehicles. Weichai invested 163 million dollars (equivalent to 1.112 billion yuan) to acquire 19.9% of Ballard's shares at a 30 day weighted average price premium of 15%, becoming the largest shareholder, accounting for 2 of the 9 seats on the board of directors.(Lithium - Ion Battery Equipment)

Signing site for cooperation between Weichai and Ballard

The former largest shareholder of Ballard, Dayang Electric, exercised the anti dilution clause, invested 20 million dollars and maintained 9.9% of Ballard's equity. At the same time, Weichai and Ballard established joint ventures, with Weichai 51% and Ballard 49% (Dayang Electric is likely to buy 10% from Ballard in the future, Ballard accounts for 39%).

The joint venture paid a technology transfer fee of 90 million US dollars to obtain the exclusive production of Ballard's next generation LCS fuel powered lithium battery stack in China and the right to assemble fuel powered lithium battery modules based on LCS stacks. At the same time, Weichai promises to promote 2000 fuel powered lithium battery commercial vehicles in China by 2021.

Weichai's heavy investment in fuel power lithium battery technology is undoubtedly a boost to the entire industry. Ballard has been deeply engaged in the field of fuel power lithium battery for nearly 30 years, burning billions of dollars in research and development funds, and has accumulated profound technological deposits, which is quite leading in the world.

If Weichai can transfer the most advanced technology of fuel powered lithium battery from Canada and integrate global resources, it is very promising to greatly narrow the gap between China's fuel powered lithium battery vehicles and foreign advanced technologies, and create a new pillar industry of hydrogen powered lithium battery vehicles industry in order to achieve curve overtaking of China's new energy vehicles, such as China's high-speed railway.

Can Weichai really realize this beautiful vision?

Ballard's development in China's market has fluctuated for many times. The heavy investment of Weichai this time is another great success of Ballard in China's market. For Weichai itself, if the investment cooperation fails to obtain the core technology of Ballard fuel power lithium battery, it is likely to be a loss making business of a Sino foreign joint venture.

Driven by curiosity, the author browsed Ballard's official website, reviewed and analyzed Ballard's track of development in China from the announcement information released by Ballard, and also deeply discussed the gains and losses of Weichai's investment this time. I sincerely hope that the industry can take advantage of the situation and usher in greater development. All the data in this article are from the announcement and public financial report on Ballard's official website, and omissions are inevitable. If there are mistakes, please correct them.

How much did Ballard earn in our country?

The revenue that can be recognized from the public information is at least $441.8 million, of which part of the module sales amount has not been disclosed on Ballard's website, so it has not been included. In addition, the joint venture between Guangdong Guohong and Ballard is expected to contribute at least US $150 million to Ballard's income in 2017-2021, which cannot be recognized yet, so it is not included in the US $441.8 million income.

Analysis of Ballard technology transfer authorization by product:

Multiple licensing of the same product is the technology transfer strategy of Ballard's products. HD-85, the 85kW module product, has been authorized to four Chinese companies, and 30/60kW module product has been authorized to two Chinese companies. How are similar products produced by these Chinese companies divided in the Chinese market, by region or by customer? Unable to find relevant information on the website.

According to common sense, these Chinese companies can't prevent falling into a brutal price war, while Ballard can ensure the revenue by selling components and drawing patent fees.

Ballard technology licensing is divided according to authorized companies:

Guangdong Guohong purchased the most authorizations from Ballard, up to 5, respectively, 9SSL stack production, 30kW vehicle module assembly, 60kW vehicle module combination, 85kW vehicle module assembly and base station standby power module system integration, which can be said to cover the whole line, with a total cost of 44.5 million dollars. Dayang Electric also purchased two authorizations from Ballard, namely, the assembly of 30kW and 85kW vehicle modules, which cost 12 million dollars.



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