Based on the industrial development and inertial laws of the new energy vehicle industry in the past year, we try to predict the objective conditions that will affect the development of the new energy vehicle industry in the coming year from the development of the upstream, midstream and downstream industrial chain links.
The content involved is the opinion of one family, for discussion and exchange, and does not constitute any investment or reference advice.
01 Upstream raw materials continue to be tightly balanced
All shortages end in excesses. But this requires a process.
At present, the price of metal raw materials upstream of lithium batteries remains stable. Although the prices of raw materials such as lithium, nickel, and cobalt have declined due to the low expectations of short-term end-market demand for new energy vehicles, they have not yet experienced an inflection point decline caused by overcapacity.
The production capacity expansion cycle of such resources will be longer and more asset-heavy than the midstream manufacturing industry, which means that the prices of these metals will not drop rapidly due to capacity expansion. In 2023, the price of upstream metal mines will not A fundamental inflection point has occurred.
In particular, incentive policies for the downstream market of new energy vehicles will still be the top priority of industrial policies in 2023. This also provides a certain guarantee for the price stability and even firmness of the upstream raw materials.
02 The power battery is still in the technical bottleneck, but the price of lithium battery will still be slightly reduced
The technical evolution of power batteries is still in progress, but in 2023 it is likely to still be based on the duopoly technology path of lithium iron phosphate batteries and ternary lithium batteries. 4680 batteries, sodium-ion batteries, solid-state batteries, etc. currently do not have the industry Sufficient conditions for scale.
Therefore, the unit cost of lithium batteries will not undergo revolutionary changes.
But the good news is that the expansion cycle of lithium battery capacity is generally 18-21 months, including a one-year ramp-up period. So objectively, 2023 will be a period of concentrated release of lithium battery production capacity.
However, limited by the price of upstream metal mines and the objective needs of multiple supply channels in the lithium battery industry, the price of power batteries will not drop sharply due to full competition in the industry. Some consulting agencies have predicted that the price of lithium batteries in 2023 will It will drop from $130/degree to $110/degree.
This change in production capacity and price (expected) has been reflected in the operating data of companies in the entire lithium battery industry in the second half of 2022, including Ningde Times, Fulin Seiko, Defang Nano, Sunwoda, Betray and other companies.
03 The price of automotive chips will remain strong for several quarters
In 2017, the semiconductors used in the dismantling of Tesla model 3 accounted for 6% of the BOM cost. Judging from the current domestic electric vehicle chip materials, this cost ratio may be close to or even exceed 10%. Aggregate demand growth will be evident.
However, the expansion cycle of automotive-grade chips may not be released until the end of 2024 or 2025. Moreover, the chip industry will tend to be more conservative towards production expansion, because past experience tells everyone that the losses and costs caused by the lack of demand will be staggering.
Therefore, the rebalancing of the supply and demand of automotive chips will take a longer period of time, and prices in the first few quarters of 2023 may continue to remain firm.
04 Homogenization will trigger a more comprehensive price war
Due to the increasingly complete and mature new energy vehicle supply chain system, the hard configuration of the same level of models launched by brand owners will basically converge, such as more and larger digital screens, more powerful on-board chips, 1-3 lasers Radar, intelligent driving assistance systems at least above L2 level, electric drive systems with smaller and smaller performance differences, intelligent cockpit systems, full leather materials, etc.
On the one hand, technological innovation is at a plateau, and on the other hand, model configurations are becoming more homogenous. Then the theme of competition among auto companies in 2023 has emerged-price wars. For this reason, car companies with high gross profit margins will gradually lower their gross profits, and car companies with low gross profit margins will try their best to pursue vertical integration of the industry to maintain the previous level of gross profit margins to the greatest extent.
Therefore, the midstream lithium battery industry will not only be affected by the decline in production capacity and price, but also be affected by the external pressure brought by the involvement of downstream OEMs.
05 Major market demand will slow down
China’s new energy market accounts for nearly half of the world’s total, and the penetration rate of the domestic new energy vehicle market has reached 30% in 2022, which means that objectively, it will be difficult for the new energy vehicle market to achieve high growth in 2023. Coupled with the complete cancellation of subsidies and the possibility that residents may tend to be conservative in optional consumption, the demand in the domestic market is not optimistic.
Similarly, the new energy vehicle market in major European countries (such as the UK, France, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Spain, Finland, Portugal, etc.) is the same as the domestic market, with a penetration rate of 30%.
Then, in the world’s major consumer markets, only the US market and Japan have potential. The penetration rate of the former may be around 7%, and the penetration rate of the latter is only 1%.
Although the Biden Act anchors the penetration rate of new energy vehicles in the United States at 50% in 2030, it puts forward high prerequisites for the current subsidy policy. The biggest constraints are: new cars must be assembled in the North American market; battery materials It is not allowed to be extracted, processed or recycled by certain foreign entities of concern, which means that the US new energy vehicle market is likely to be difficult to break out in 2023.
The Japanese market is even less likely to affect the demand of the global market, and its preconditions such as market development stage and subsidy intensity are not sufficient.
06 The “$30,000” effect will be strengthened
Under the blessing of market competition and cost constraints, the two leading new energy car companies Tesla and BYD respectively adopted a pricing strategy of “one drop and one increase” at the beginning of the year. The entry price of the model is anchored in the $30,000 price segment.
This will make other car companies have to follow and join the market competition in this mainstream price segment. This will be an important source of incremental growth in the new energy vehicle market in 2023, and will also strengthen the “30,000” market in my country’s mainstream pure electric vehicle market. dollar” effect.
07 PHEV growth rate will still be ahead of BEV
2022 is the year when domestic PHEV (plug-in hybrid) will explode, with a growth rate of 167%, compared with 85% for BEV (pure electric).
The reasons are as follows: 1. At present, power batteries are constrained by performance and cost. It is difficult for BEVs to enter the price range of more than 100,000 yuan. It is not perfect, charging is still unspeakably convenient, and the experience of long-distance travel is poor. Therefore, the hybridization of oil and electricity is still a reasonable option for mainstream consumer families considering multiple dimensions such as economy and convenience.
In 2023, the above two reasons are unlikely to change fundamentally, so the growth rate of PHEV will still be higher than that of BEV.
08 Intelligentization is still “thunder, rain, little”
Restricted by laws and regulations, lagging infrastructure construction, and the suspension of the implementation of L3 and above-level intelligent driving, the space for “intelligent” intelligent driving of car companies is still very limited.
Moreover, there will be many “closures” and “discounts” in the industry in 2022, and the general environment is not friendly to “intelligence”. At the technical level in a narrower sense, even in specific scenarios, the penetration rate of autonomous driving is still very high. Low, there is still a distance from the maturity of the technology, not to mention the landing of a wider range of C-end applications.
09 Industry valuation reset
The valuation anchor of new energy vehicles is still Tesla.
In the past, Tesla’s high valuation came from: the core competitiveness of the manufacturing industry-cost and scale, the performance core of electric vehicles-battery technology, and the SaaS subscription model based on autonomous driving applications.
Tesla’s current situation is:
Advanced manufacturing capabilities represented by integrated die-casting technology have begun to generalize in the industry, and more and more car companies will introduce this manufacturing technology;
Although Tesla is still the world’s “big brother” of pure electric vehicles, there are fewer and fewer orders in hand, and the market has questioned its scale;
Its first principle allows Tesla to develop and innovate from the initial 1865 battery to the 2170 battery, which not only realizes the commercialization of pure electric vehicles, but also achieves a world-class first-mover advantage. However, it is still necessary to achieve a larger scale in the next stage. It needs the landing of 4680 batteries. At present, 4680 batteries do not yet have the conditions for industrial-scale large-scale production;
The 10% FSD subscription ratio will not usher in a larger-scale improvement without a breakthrough in “smart” technology.
In general, behind the decline in Tesla’s valuation is not that Tesla is no longer good. In fact, it is still the car company with the highest gross profit margin and the most impressive growth rate in the world.
But objectively, Tesla’s ability to continue to innovate in the past is weakening, and its proud first principles are gradually becoming invalid. The sharp drop in valuation has a certain sense of “punishment”. Undoubtedly, this will lower the valuation ceiling of the entire new energy vehicle industry.
10 The door to car manufacturing is closing
In 2022, events represented by Evergrande Automobile, LVCHI Automobile, WM Motor, and Niu Chuangxin Energy have announced that the door to car manufacturing has begun to close. In addition, the increasingly fierce competition in the industry and the sharp decline in the valuation center also mean that there are not many tickets left for the promotion of new energy vehicles.
Outside the gate of car manufacturing, there are new brands such as Aian, Lantu, Avita, Deep Blue, Feifan, and Zhiji, which are backed by established automobile groups, and there are new brands similar to Jikr that rely on large private car companies. , There are also new brands created by Internet capital such as Xiaomi Automobile, and there are also a number of new brands formed by the matching of local licenses and capital. There are still a large number of participants. Big keywords.
Judging from the current development trend, Aian’s valuation financing of 100 billion yuan in 2022 is likely to be the peak price of car manufacturers at this stage, which is the price of the “last ticket”.
11 “Entrepreneurship” will become the winner of business competition
Before 2019, Musk, who was once trapped on the factory floor due to “capacity hell”, was almost ridiculed by the industry and questioned by public opinion around the world. The wave of electrification pioneered by Tesla will launch a heavy Davis double kill on the traditional fuel vehicle market.
Of course, the current Musk may not sleep on the floor of the super factory again. When facing specific problems, the first principle may be able to provide a magical solution to the problem in the way of thinking, but the driving force behind the development of the manufacturing industry The key is the manufacturing process and standardization, so it is still necessary to return to the manufacturing experience and steady execution.
Looking at it now, the new energy vehicle industry in 2023 is likely to be in a plateau year after rapid growth, and it may be difficult to call it a “big year for new energy vehicles” from a macro perspective. But nothing can be broken, and this period is often easy to breed new entrepreneurial spirits, similar to Musk in 2018.
As the so-called “sage outside and king inside”, whoever can integrate new concepts, culture and quality in this industry spiritual window period, and lay a foundation for technological innovation, then he will reap the right time, place and people for the next stage of development of the industry and.
(Disclaimer: This article only represents the author’s point of view, not the position of Sina.com.)
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