Electric vehicles rely on rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs for energy, allowing the EVs to emit zero carbon at the tailpipe. But while the West has a major position in the global EV industry, with American automaker Tesla being the largest electric vehicle maker in the world, the EV battery game is dominated by Asian players. In fact, the largest seller of batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles is currently a Chinese company called Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd (CATL).
CATL has pretty much dominated the EV battery market for the past few years, selling more batteries for EVs and hybrids than any other company in the first half of 2022 and predicted to remain the top battery seller in the world for the rest of the year. South Korean company KRE Research reports that the Chinese battery maker sold an estimated 70.9 GW hours’ equivalent of batteries over the first six months of 2022, an increase in sales of a whopping 115.6% over the first half of 2021.
CATL was formed in 2011 and quickly secured a spot in the battery space after entering a strategic collaboration agreement with German carmaker BMW. In the decade since it was formed, CATL has entered into joint venture agreements with several Chinese carmakers, including Dongfeng Motor, Geely Auto group, GW Auto Group and GAC Group. The Chinese battery maker has also partnered with Tesla to supply the Texas-based EV maker with battery components for the EVs built at its Shanghai gigafactory.
South Korean battery-maker LG Energy Solutions is also a major player in the global EV battery game, delivering EV battery parts to companies such as Tesla, Lucid and Porshe. LG Energy Solutions owes a large chunk of its success in the EV battery sector to soaring Tesla Model 3 and Y sales in China and Europe.
The South Korean company, which sold 29.2 GW hours’ equivalent of batteries in the first half of 2022, also holds a stake in Ultium Cells, is a collaborative venture with General Motors that currently develops battery cells for the Cadillac Lyriq and the GMC Hummer EV.
BYD Auto, a Chinese company that produces both EVs and EV batteries, sold 24.0 GW hours’ equivalent of EV batteries, a 200% increase in batteries sold in the first half of 2021. Panasonic has also managed to carve out a chunk of the EV battery market for itself, selling 19.5 GW hours’ equivalent of batteries in the first half of 2022. The Japanese company holds 9.6% market share and is slated to retain its status as a major player in the industry, thanks to its enduring collaboration with Tesla.
The combined EV battery output of LG Energy Solution, CATL and BYD as well as Panasonic was 143.6 GW hours, exceeding 70% of worldwide automotive battery sales in the first six months of the year. SK Innovation, CALB, Samsung SDI, Sunwoda, Guoxuan and Svolt made up 21.2% of the worldwide EV battery market while other battery makers made up the remaining 8.2%.
Energy storage system and EV makers such as Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA) have some catching up to do if they are to make a dent in the dominance of the larger players in the battery manufacturing segment.
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