Anatoly Chubais, RUSNANO CEO and Shaoping Lu, Managing Director of Thunder Sky Group Limited of China, recently signed an agreement in Beijing establishing the first Russian production of an ultra-capacity lithium-ion battery for Electric Vehicles.The RUSNANO Supervisory Council approved the Corporation's participation in the project last year and since then, the two companies started preparing all the necessary documentation to establish the joint Russian-Chinese venture that led to the signing of the contract between the companies. Thunder Sky Battery Limited is the first company in the world that successfully replaced “PVDF solvent” with solvent binder, producing a rechargeable lithium-ion battery high capacity. The agreement includes an establishment of a joint holdings company based in Russia to start the Lithium-Ion Technology production in the country.
They estimate that the total investment for the project at would reach about13.580 billion rubles or more than 400 million dollars. RUSNANO Managing Director Sergey Polikarpov said that, “This is a remarkable example of cooperation between Russia and China in the science and technology field. The project will help transfer and develop the world’s latest technology in Russia.” The two companies expect the sales of the project’s production to reach 13.1 billion rubles by 2015.
They would establish the High-End Lithium-Ion Battery production plant in Novosibirsk in Russia. The factory will have four fully automated and environmentally friendly production lines that the Thunder Sky group would install, creating more than 500 jobs in the region. A sales and marketing division will also be established to promote the Thunder Sky technology on Russian and East European markets. RUSNANO said that the plant would roll out from its production lines batteries that are primarily used for electric buses and minibuses. The batteries are also used in uninterrupted power supply units for IT, telecommunications and renewable energy systems, the Company added.
Production will be launched next year with an estimated annual production reaching 400 million ampere-hours by 2012, enough to power 12,000 electric vehicles a year, according to RUSNANO. The guaranteed demand for major part of batteries produced in first four years is ensured by the Thunder Sky contracts for the Chinese production of electric vehicles. The Russian market sales are expected to grow along with the demand generated by the production of new and re-equipment of existing model such as GAZelle mini-trucks.
The Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrate Plant will also supply the cathode material and lithium compounds for the batteries production. Other imported ingredients will be gradually replaced by domestic production, giving an impetus for the emergence of new cluster of high technology industries in Russia. The project’s Science and Technology center will adapt the nano-technology developments of Russian scientists and will considerably improve characteristics of the Thunder Sky batteries to create new market niches for their application. The Russian production unit will ensure faster commercialization and implementation of the scientific developments. The Russian company added they could easily reconfigure the flexible modular production process depending on the customer’s demand and the new technology emergence.
According to the McKinsey 2009 forecast, about 10 percent of all cars on the roads will be battery-electric or plug-in vehicles or running solely on electric power. That would create the demand for batteries growing up to $60 billion a year. Europe, USA and China are projected to be the largest markets for electric vehicle batteries.