“SVOLT” Develops New Batteries and Build New Factories in China and Europe
China’s emerging battery maker Honeycomb Energy Technology (SVOLT) announced on July 30 that it has completed a series B financing of 10.28 billion yuan. The lead investor is a group investment by the central bank of an investment company under the umbrella of the Chugoku Bank, a major state-owned bank. The funds raised this time will be used for research and development of new technologies and expansion of production capacity.
SVOLT was born in 2018 as a spin-off of the battery development division of Great Wall Motors, a mid-sized automobile manufacturer. For that reason, Mr. Wei Jianjun, who is the chairman of Great Wall Motor (equivalent to the chairman), has become a major shareholder. Follow-up investors for this financing include investment funds such as Kenshin Financial Assets Investment, IDG Capital, Koshu Kaimatsu Fund, related funds of the National Science and Technology Achievement Conversion Fund, Sanichi Heavy Industries, a major construction machinery company, and smartphones. Major companies such as Xiao Mi were also listed.
According to data from the battery industry, SVOLT‘s in-vehicle batteries installed in EVs (electric vehicles) produced in the first half of 2021 are 0.84GWh (gigawatt hours), with a market share of 1.6% and ranking by company. It was 8th place. The share of the leading Ningde era New Energy Technology (CATL) was 49.1%, BYD (BYD) was 14.6%, and LG Chem of South Korea was 9%.
Start-up SVOLT faces fierce competition from its predecessors. Therefore, the company is boldly challenging not only mainstream lithium-ion batteries such as iron phosphate and ternary batteries, but also new technologies. In 2019, we announced a development plan for cobalt-free batteries that do not use the rare metal cobalt and quaternary batteries that have a more complex chemical composition than ternary batteries. Mass production of cobalt-free batteries began in July 2021, and quaternary batteries aim to be mass-produced in 2022.
Received an order of 270 billion yen from Stellantis
Currently, Great Wall Motor is the main customer of SVOLT, but according to SVOLT CEO Yang Hong Xin, there are many inquiries from other companies. As a specific example, we received an order of 16 billion yuan from Stellantis, a major European automobile company. Stellantis is a company that was established in January 2021 by the merger of French group PSA and Western Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).
In order to respond to the increase in orders, SVOLT has an urgent need to build new factories and increase production capacity in Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province, Suining City, Sichuan Province, Huzhou City, Zhejiang Province, Ma’anshan City, Anhui Province, Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, and Europe. It has become. It aims to raise its annual production capacity to over 200 GWh by 2025.