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2017-01-01 04:36:31
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在中国东南部三级城市宁德郊区,有一个满是灰尘的村庄,它怎么看也不像是未来汽车技术潜在全球领军企业的总部。
然而,借助中国自上而下的行业政令提升价值链、治理城市大气污染以及转而使用电动汽车,宁德的时代新能源科技有限公司(CATL)蓄势待发,意欲从家乡翘楚向全国佼佼者乃至更宏伟的未来迈进。
作为对松下和韩国LG Chem的回应,中国去年的汽车锂电池产量翻了三番,以跟上中国电动汽车销量激增的步伐。
公司首席执行官黄世林上周表示,在10月完成第二轮主要融资之后,公司的估值翻了4倍,达到了800亿元(115亿美元)。
CATL有望成为全球的一大主导力量,公司希望在北京场外交易市场上市,并意欲借助这一手段和其他方式,在2020年前另行筹集至少300亿人民币(43.2亿美元)。
公司已在汽车锂电池产量方面超过了LG Chem,而且正在追赶松下和沃伦巴菲特投资的比亚迪。
CATL计划在2020年之前将其电池产能翻六番,达到50千兆瓦时。届时,公司将超越特斯拉汽车公司在内华达州的gigafactory工厂。
黄先生说:“我们仍将按照国家的指导思路发展。我们希望在2020年前能够实现全球领先的性能和价格。”
公司刚步入第五个年头,目前已经走出中国的国门,在瑞典、德国和法国设立了办事处,并计划在欧洲修建工厂。公司代表表示,受保密协议限制,他们目前仅能对外公布的客户是宝马。
尽管公司有着雄心勃勃的扩张计划,但新兴领域对于政府的政策依赖性较强,而且迅速发展的技术并非是没有风险。
美国汽车电池制造商A123从首次公开募股到破产仅用了三年的时间,原因在于电池成本高居不下,而且订单日渐枯竭。
营销总监Neill Yang表示,“大家都认为我们是一个非常成功的公司,但是我们觉得公司每天都处于危险当中。市场环境和技术变革非常之快,如果我们不能紧跟趋势,公司可能在三个月内就会消亡。”
成为全国领军企业
业内人士称,要成为中国的领军企业,电池制造商必须首先踢出任何外国投资,才能有资格获得补贴和其他政策支持。
在创建CATL之前,曾毓群创建了Amperex Technology Ltd (ATL)。如今,这家公司的大股东是日本TDK。
杨先生说,ATL最初持有CATL15%的股份,但是已于去年变现,当时正逢电动汽车开始出现飞跃式发展。他并未详述撤资的具体情况。
这家日本公司的发言人表示,TDK从CATL撤资后转而专注于移动消费电子的电池业务,但仍向CATL所使用的某些知识产权征收特许使用费。
一位无权接受媒体采访的知情人士称,“撤资是出于战略的考虑,而且是保密的。ATL仍与CATL保持着密切的合作关系。”
ATL与CATL仍共用宁德工厂,尽管前门和主要办公室仅挂着ATL的牌子。
曾先生是化学博士,也是宁德当地人。作为两家公司的创建者,他似乎仍是这两家公司之间的纽带。
政策支持
尽管政府对电动汽车的支持已经推动了市场对电池等组件的需求,中央政府仍将出台其他政策,迫使小型企业合并或破产,从而让CATL这样的首要生产商受益。
工信部表示,该部门上月正在酝酿一项规定,内容是将电池制造商的最低产量要求提升约40倍,达到8千兆瓦时。
目前,仅比亚迪和CATL基本上能够满足这一最低要求。然而,中国媒体称,合肥国轩高科动力能源有限公司和天津力神电池股份有限公司在明年可能将接近或超过这一产量。
杨先生表示,与生产电动汽车的补助相比,电池补助相对较为温和。电动汽车去年一年的补助额为45亿美元。
杨先生表示,CATL已被中国十三五计划列为三大电池生产商之一,另外两家是国轩和力神。如果它能够达到生产目标,其补贴额将达到约1500万美元。但他还提到,一条生产线的成本就高达4000万美元。
按照中国2020目标:电池成本将降至1元(约合0.144美元)每千瓦时,并将电池密度提升2/3。
为了实现这一目标,CATL将增加在研发方面的投资,该公司聘请了1000多名拥有高级工科学位的人员。
中国汽车工程学会会长付于武说:“他们的研发投资规模是相当大的。”他同时还表示,希望这家公司能够成为全球领军企业。
他说:“他们有这么大的规模以及中国巨大市场的支持。因此,他们没有理由不进行国际扩张。”(财富中文网)

译者:冯丰
审校:詹妮
A dusty village on the outskirts of Ningde, a third-tier city in China's southeast, seems an unlikely place for the headquarters of a potential global leader in future automotive technology.
Yet China's top-down industrial policy diktats - move up the value chain, clean up polluted urban skies, and shift to plug-in cars - have Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) poised to go from hometown hero to national champion, and beyond.
China's answer to Japan's Panasonic and South Korea's LG Chem has tripled its production capacity for lithium-ion car batteries in the past year to keep up with a surge in China's sales of electric cars.
After a second major funding round completed in October, the company's value quadrupled to 80 billion yuan ($11.5 billion), CEO Huang Shilin said last week.
CATL, which hopes to list on Beijing's over-the-counter exchange as part of plans to raise at least another 30 billion yuan ($4.32 billion) by 2020, could be a dominant force globally.
It has already overtaken LG Chem in lithium-ion car battery output, and is chasing down Panasonic and Warren Buffett-backed BYD .
CATL plans to grow its battery capacity sixfold by 2020 to 50 gigawatt hours, which could put it ahead of Tesla Motor Inc's gigafactory in Nevada.
"We continue to walk where the country guides us," Huang said. "We hope by 2020 we can achieve performance and price that lead the world."
The company, founded just five years ago, is already pushing beyond China's borders, with offices in Sweden, Germany and France and plans to build a factory in Europe. Company representatives say that because of non-disclosure agreements they can only list BMW as a customer for now.
Despite the ambitious expansion, the emerging segment's dependence on government policy and rapidly evolving technology is not without risk.
A123, a U.S. automotive battery maker, went from IPO to bust in just three years as battery costs remained stubbornly high and orders dried up.
"People think we're a big successful company, but we think we're in jeopardy every day," marketing director Neill Yang said. "The market environment and technology changes so fast that if we don't follow the trend we could die in three months."
Building a Champion
To become a Chinese champion, a battery maker must first shed any foreign investment to be eligible for subsidies and other policy support, people in the industry say.
Before he set up CATL, Robin Zeng had started Amperex Technology Ltd (ATL), a company now majority-owned by Japan's TDK.
ATL initially had a 15% stake in CATL, but liquidated that holding last year, Yang said, when electric vehicle sales first started to take off. He declined to elaborate on the circumstances of that divestment.
TDK separated from CATL to focus on batteries for mobile consumer electronics, but still collects royalties on some intellectual property used by CATL, a spokesman for the Japanese company said.
"The reason is strategic and confidential. ATL still keeps a close relationship with CATL," said a person familiar with the situation, who was not authorized to speak to the media.
ATL and CATL still share a Ningde campus, although the front gate and main office bear only the ATL name.
Zeng, a Ningde local with a doctorate in chemistry, appears to be the remaining link between the two companies he founded. He declined an interview request.
Policy Support
While government support for electric cars has driven demand for components such as batteries, Beijing is also rolling out other policies that could benefit leading producers like CATL, by forcing smaller firms to consolidate or go out of business.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MITI) said last month it is considering a rule that would increase minimum production requirements for battery makers by around 40 times to 8 gigawatt hours.
Only BYD and CATL are roughly in line with that minimum, though Chinese media reports suggest Hefei Guoxuan High-Tech Power Energy and Tianjin Lishen Battery may be close to or above that level by next year.
Yang said subsidy support for batteries is fairly modest compared to those for producing electric vehicles, which totalled $4.5 billion last year alone.
CATL has been nominated as one of three battery makers - with Guoxuan and Lishen - for incentives under China's 13th Five-Year Plan, promising around $15 million if it can meet targets, Yang said. He noted, though, that a single production line costs $40 million.
Among national 2020 targets: to halve battery costs to below 1 yuan ($0.144) per kilowatt hour, and improve energy density by two-thirds.
To get there, CATL is ramping up spending on research and development, where it employs more than 1,000 people with advanced science degrees.
"The strength of their R&D investment is quite large," said Fu Yuwu, chief of the Society of Automotive Engineers of China, adding he hopes the company can become a global leader.
"They have such large scale and the support of China's huge market, all the more reason they should do a good job of internationalizing," he said.

来源:
http://www.fortunechina.com/business/c/2016-12/28/content_276363.htm


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