SNEC ES Exclusive: EVE Executive Interview

TaiyangNews & SNEC Leadership Conversations With EVE Energy Director Of Strategy Kurt Gui

As part of the TaiyangNews and SNEC Energy Storage, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Leadership Conversations, TaiyangNews Managing Director Michael Schmela sat down for an exclusive interview with the Director of Strategy of EVE Energy, Kart Gui. 

Conducted at the recently concluded 8th (2023) International Energy Storage Technology, Equipment and Application Exhibition in Shanghai, China, Gui shared the lithium-ion battery manufacturing company’s strategy and vision during the interview (click on photo to watch video). 

EVE came into being in 2001 with a focus on consumer batteries, from where it fast moved into the secondary battery for energy storage and electric vehicles (EV). Gui introduced the company as number 4 in China and among the top 10 globally. He expects EVE to report $10 billion in sales this year. 

Calling the partnership between solar and storage fundamental for the world’s energy transition from fossil fuels to a renewables-powered one, Schmela pointed to the fast growth of battery storage and questioned Gui about the key challenges it faces. 

Gui believes the 2 key challenges never change for this market, namely safety and cost. If a company can’t face these challenges head on, it won’t be able to survive for long, he added. 

Yet another challenge is to survive the competition in this space, as Gui noted some 20,000 new companies moved into this field in 2022. This has impacted prices as well. At the same time, several solar module manufacturers are also venturing into cell manufacturing for batteries. 

Gui admitted the market is going through a rough time now with an oversupply of batteries. How a company can stand apart from the competition boils down to product quality, which he explained in this case relates to safety of the end unit. This focus on quality remains the primary objective of EVE like the product’s ability to manage the heat, added Gui. 

The company is working on a 60 GW factory in Jingmen, China, which Gui said gives it an economy of scale for manufacturing, thus the margins are higher than a small-scale company. Nonetheless, there will likely be some consolidation in this segment going forward, Gui predicts. 

According to the EVE senior executive, the market has fast moved from the time when the installed capacity of the single largest standalone energy storage system was about 20 MW that has now expanded to 1 GW scale. Similarly, for energy storage systems, the capacity has gone up from 1 or 2 hours to now 8 hours in some cases, a 400-times increase, as users realize its benefits. To cater to this demand, EVE has products like 2 kW of energy storage space inside a single cell.  

Using China as an example where the battery storage business is quite big now, Gui shared that the government initially pumped in incentives to push the market forward. After 2018 and 2019, there was an oversupply which slowed it down. That’s when it became a market-driven business, as opposed to a government-driven one. 

The next step for any market to grow is the availability of infrastructure to be able to use the offering, for instance wide availability of charging stations for electric vehicles to be used. The home battery market will grow when there are solar panels on the roof. Additionally, the electricity market needs to be open too.  

Over the next 5 years, Gui believes the electricity market will open up wider with no barriers for electricity to flow. That’s when the market will boom again. The industry—both suppliers and end users—needs to drive it forward, he added.  

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Senior News Editor: Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews. --Email : [email protected] --

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