During a press release on July 20, 2017, CNESA alliance member and Li-ion manufacturer, Suzhou Lishen, announced that operations have begun at a recently completed 353,000 sq. meter facility with a planned yearly production capacity of 15 GWh. Suzhou Lishen is a subsidiary of the Lishen group based in Tianjin, China.
The company’s East China production base is a central focus point in the company's “13th Five Year Plan” strategy, which includes plans increase production capacity for Li-ion batteries used in electric vehicles. The total project investments total over CNY5 billion (US$7.5 million)
Suzhou Lishen invested CNY2.1 billion over the first two stages of the project, constructing a production capacity of 4 GWh. On April 15, 2016 construction began, with operations beginning on July, 20, 2017. It is China’s first domestic facility to manufacture the 21700 format Li-ion batteries.
Lishen’s 21700 format batteries have four main advantages when compared to the traditional 18650 batteries. The monomer energy density is higher, the battery system costs are lower, the total batter casing is lighter, and its overall easier to automate production. In addition to this, the Lishen 21700 have three core design features:
- An entirely new physical composition battery cover that ensures consistent performance and minimizes the safety risks associated with voltage leaks
- The battery casing uses nickel-steel pre-plating, putting an end to the need to produce metal powder, overall reducing battery self-discharge
- Quadrapole structure allows for super high power discharge and high performance.
During the press release, Lishen unveiled the 21700 series products, suitable for a range of vehicles including hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and battery electricity vehicles. At the same time, the battery series products can satisfy the power requirements for 12V start-stop systems as well as 48V micromixing systems. Lishen has entered into agreements with 10 domestic suppliers for parts and components, with total purchasing plans exceeding CNY5 billion.