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EV batteries

Korea’s EV battery trio controls half of global market ex-China

By Feb 17, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

GE's Ultium EV battery system, made jointly with LG Energy Solution
GE's Ultium EV battery system, made jointly with LG Energy Solution

South Korea’s LG Energy Solution Ltd. and two other major domestic electric vehicle battery makers have grown significantly, controlling more than half of the global market ex-China.

According to market research firm SNE Research on Feb. 17, registered global EV battery capacity reached 81.2 GWh in 2020, up 56.2% from the previous year as automakers increased their rollout of electric cars.

LG Energy Solution, LG Chem Ltd.'s battery spin-off, was the dominant player with a 33.1% share of the global market excluding China, providing 26.8 GWh.

Japan’s Panasonic Corp. slid from the top post to second place with its market share of 31.6%, or 25.6 GWh.

Samsung SDI Co. ranked third (10.1%), followed by SK Innovation Co. (9.7%) and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL), which controlled 6.5% of the global EV battery market ex-China.

Combined, the three Korean battery players accounted for 52.9% of the market, according to SNE Research.

STATISTICAL DISTORTION

The research firm released data excluding China, citing possible statistical distortion as the Chinese government forces automakers operating in China to use locally produced batteries in their electric vehicles.

Researchers at LG Chem, parent company of LG Energy Solution
Researchers at LG Chem, parent company of LG Energy Solution

In 2019, CATL’s market share outside its home turf was a mere 0.4%.

Including China, CATL was the world’s top EV battery player with a 24% market share in 2020, followed by LG Energy Solution’s 23.5%.

“In the global EV battery market ex-China, Korean companies are apparently consolidating their positions. But they are facing growing competition. CATL and other Chinese companies are seen to be widening their market shares,” said Kim Gwang-ju, chief executive of SNE Research.

Write to Jae-Kwang Ahn at ahnjk@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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