LiFePO4 Battery Maker Sinopoly Battery Reports Significant Losses

1 year ago by Mark Kane 3

Sinopoly Battery

Sinopoly Battery

After many bankruptcies among li-ion battery producers in the US, it is time to look beyond these borders.

Well known Chinese company, Sinopoly Battery (previously Thunder Sky Battery and for some time paralleled with Winston Battery), was providing LiFePO4 cells for customers who wanted to convert their cars to electric in Europe and in the US.

Sinopoly Battery LiFePO4 cells

Sinopoly Battery LiFePO4 cells

Hundreds EV converters have been using these originally yellow cells (now black) for years because they are relatively cheap, solid, safe, easy to build and long lasting.  Similar batteries are also produced and sold by CALB (also a Chinese company that licensed it from Thunder Sky Battery and now probably has some own species of it with even better performance).

But let’s go back to Sinopoly Battery and its current situation. Are they viable or not? Well, not.

Revenues of Sinopoly Battery are shrinking year after year and losses remain high.

Revenues Net losses
FY2011 $9.7M $361M
FY2012 $7.7M $57.0M
FY2013 $6.9M $41.6M

 

In their fiscal year that ended 31 March, 2013 revenues were only about $6.9M of which 98.7% comes from li-ion bussines (rest is probably income from a bank account).

The company did manage to increase the efficiency of production, so gross profit increased to approximately 12.3%. At least they are not losing money on every cell, but scale of production is too small to offset total costs.

Net losses are 6-times higher then total revenues.  It’s not strange that in financial report you can find such statements, though few bother to read these lengthy reports:

“The aforementioned conditions indicate the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt on the ability of the Group and the Company to continue as a going concern.”

Moreover, can you believe that salaries and allowances amounted about $7.9M in FY2013? This is more than total revenues, but Sinopoly Battery does have roughly one thousand employees.

We don’t know how many kWh of batteries Sinopoly Battery produced, but if we assume price of not higher than $1 per Ah, it could be minimum of 7 million Ah (but it could be as high as 15 million Ah).  Really that’s not too much (maybe about 1,500 25 kWh packs.)

During FY2013 Sinopoly Battery shipped out its products in these percentages: Europe (38.9%), China (27.5%), Australia (9.8%), US (9.2%), Hong Kong (4.2%) and others (10.4%).

And now we know that on the other side of the world the current situation is basically the same.  The li-ion battery business is like a hard piece of bread (it’s tough to crack in to).

With Sinopoly Battery losess we don’t expect that LiFePO4 will be cheaper any time soon.

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3 responses to "LiFePO4 Battery Maker Sinopoly Battery Reports Significant Losses"

  1. Cavaron says:

    As far as I know, there are three main players in the LiFePO4 buisiness in China. Sinopoly, Calb and Winston. Winston improved their product greately with yttrium dotted cathodes (they call it LiFeYPO4 now). It makes below freezing degrees charging possible and adds about 1000 more cycles, after what people who use it told me. Also Winston cells are known for a 10% higher capacity (like a 100ah cell is realy about 110ah).
    So I would guess that Sinopoly and Calb realy have to license these yttrium-technology too, or they have to come up with something new.

  2. Dan Frederiksen says:

    These chinese thundersky makers typically want 1.1$/Ah. quite overpriced really but they insist on not dropping the price.
    And now CALB cells are vastly superior so noone in their right minds want sinopoly anyway.

    That revenue is about 60000cells of 100Ah. or 60 cells per employee per year.
    In other words it takes one employee one week to make a single cell. Not terribly industrious.

    But hey, they are losing a lot less money than Tesla Motors so they must be doing great :)

    That 1.1$/Ah has to come down. lifepo was supposed to be the inexpensive chemistry but it costs twice as much as the ‘expensive’ chemistry. somebody is doing it wrong.
    we need that price to be half because lifepo is better for cars.
    although high density LiTi would be very welcome as well. 90Wh/kg is workable when it has 10000 cycles and blitz charge. very workable.

  3. kotun says:

    Wonder if these will turnaround the company:
    1) Li Ka Shing investment (more or less like Wareent Buffet’s in the East)
    2) LOI with Smith Electric Vehicle
    3) Both production sites are after trials
    4) Legal proceedings going the way of Sinopoly instead of Winston

    Thinking of these as positives for the company, should we start investing?