Korean EV battery makers trail Chinese competitors, again
Korean electric vehicle (EV) battery makers are quickly losing ground to Chinese competitors, with the country's three largest producers having less combined share in the first four months of 2021 than China's largest producer, which is also the world's largest.
Ningde, China's Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) had 32.5 percent of the global market in the Jan.-to-April period, according to data from SNE Research. LG Energy Solution, SK Innovation and Samsung SDI, Korea's three EV battery makers, had a total of 32.0 percent.
The switch has been fast and furious. In the first four months of 2020, CATL had a 21 percent share, while the Korean battery makers had 35.1 percent. The five largest Chinese EV battery makers during that period had a combined 35.3 percent of the market.
Chinese manufactures have been ahead of the Korean makers before. In 2019, CATL had 27.6 percent and the three Korean makers had 16.0 percent. Full-year 2020, the Korean big three had 49.4 percent, while CATL had 34.3 percent.
SNE's top-10 list for the first four months of 2021 rounds out with two Japanese companies, Panasonic, with 14.7 percent of the market, and AESC, the Nissan, NEC and Tokin Corporation venture, with 2.0 percent of the market.
Overall, the market has been growing rapidly, Supply of EV batteries was up by 145.9 percent in the first four months of 2021 on year to 65.9 gigwatt-hours (GWh). CATL's supply rose 285.9 percent to 21.4 GWh.
LG Energy Solution, a wholly owned subsidiary of LG Chem, supplied 14.2 GWh, up 132.6 percent, Samsung SDI 3.4 GWh, up 87.8 percent, and SK Innovation 3.4 GWh, up 138.9 percent.
"Growth of the three Korean battery makers was backed by increased sales of EV models installed with their battery products," SNE Research wrote in a release. "LG Energy Solution's growth was backed by sales of Tesla's Model Y in the Chinese market as well as Volkswagen's ID.3 and ID.4."
Samsung SDI's batteries are installed in Audi's e-tron and Fiat's 500. SK Innovation's batteries go into Kia's Niro EV and Hyundai Motor's Kona EV for the European market.
BY JIN EUN-SOO [firstname.lastname@example.org]