China EV battery maker Octillion looks to cash in on carbon neutral drive

HEFEI, China (Reuters) - China's drive for carbon neutrality as well as its growing production could enable electric vehicles (EV) to compete equally with standard cars by 2030 and take the sector to new heights, the boss of a leading Chinese EV battery manufacturer said.
"Obviously, battery costs are the main driver," said Peng Zhou, general manager of Octillion Power Systems, a lithium-ion battery supplier headquartered in Hefei, Anhui Province. "Economies of scale in connection with innovation alone will be enough to reach the parity line by 2030."
China, the world's largest producer of climate-warming greenhouse gases, wants to peak emissions by 2030 and become climate-neutral by 2060.
Tighter emissions standards, more competitive EV models and a national commitment to reducing greenhouse gases are driving growth, said Zhou, whose company designs and builds bespoke battery modules for automakers and has Total, Softbank and Samsung Venture Investment among its shareholders.
"We expect the carbon peak and carbon neutrality will happen, which is what is driving the entire sector," he said.
The company supplied 10% of the nation's battery electric vehicle market in the second half of 2020 and aims to increase production capacity from 1.4 gigawatt hours last year to more than 22 gigawatt hours by 2025. By 2020, 95,191 units had been delivered 24,844 a year earlier.
The aim is also to diversify geographically and build on existing businesses in Brazil, India and North America.
Environmental groups have warned that the boom in electric vehicle ownership will lead to an increase in battery waste. Chinese cities have responded to the challenge by setting up recycling systems.
Zhou said batteries contain scarce resources like nickel and cobalt and he was not worried about an impending "pollution nightmare".
"From a purely economic point of view, you can make money to get all that stuff back," he said. "I don't think people will throw them away or randomly throw them away because there is value there."
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)
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