APh ePower’s aluminum battery technology was developed by research teams at the Industrial Technology Research Institute, and has been utilized on electric bicycles in 2017. The company is gearing up for large-scale energy storage application and is aiming for megawatt (1 MW) level power grid, which is expected to be delivered by the year 2020. Compared to lithium-ion battery, aluminum battery has less pollution and lower costs, and has improved charging and discharging characteristics than lead-acid battery. However, dimension and weight-wise, aluminum battery is only comparable to lead-acid battery, and some technical challenges still remain before the technology can be applied to electric motorcycle.
The successful substitution of lead-acid battery with aluminum battery would be a significant advancement for Sanyang Motor, as the market expectation and demands for electric motorcycle performance far outweigh that of electric bicycle, and the commercialization of the technology remains a challenging prospect. Regardless, Sanyang has decided to invest in the construction of an aluminum battery manufacturing plant at the Southern Taiwan Science Park’s Lujhu branch. The 1st generation plant is expected to be online for production by June of next year, and the 2nd generation plant is already under planning for production by the year 2022.
Qing Yuan Wu, CEO of Sanyang Motor, expressed that by having a capable battery plant, the practicality and competitiveness of the motor maker’s electric motorcycle lineups will be greatly boosted, and will be ready for Taiwan’s market without over-relying on government subsidies. In the foreseeable future, Sanyang can even promote its electric motorcycles oversea and occupy a portion of the electric motorcycle market that uses lead-acid batteries. Ultimately, Sanyang will develop and manufacture not just batteries, but also the electronic control software and firmware for electric motorcycles.
According to Sanyang Motor, aluminum batteries are temperature-resistance, environmentally friendly and has longer service life, as well as being much safer than conventional lead-acid batteries. Aluminum battery also has excellent charging and discharging characteristics, able to charge up to 80% power in just 5 minutes. Despite its advantages over conventional batteries, Sanyang Motor is currently only using aluminum battery in its lower-cost, affordable electric motorcycle lineups, while the premium models will continue to use fast-charging lithium-ion batteries produced domestically.
Gaining shares in the international market is only possible through a complete value-chain. Sanyang Motor believes that foreign sales are the key to stable market growth, as the domestic motorcycle market tops off at around 600,000 units. Interestingly, the majority of Sanyang’s motorcycles produced in China are sold to other countries, rather than gaining significant market share in China. It is expected that if the mass production of aluminum batteries can proceed as planned, it will help the motor maker gain a stronger foothold in the Chinese electric motorcycle market, as well as benefiting businesses in foreign markets like Central and South America, Middle East and Africa.
Sources from: Tech News