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Korea lagging behind Japan, China in EV battery competitiveness

South Korean battery makers are lagging behind their rivals in China and Japan in electric vehicle battery competitiveness, a local think tank said Thursday.

Korean car battery companies, such as LG Chem Ltd. and Samsung SDI Co., have witnessed their combined share in the global battery market plunge to 11 percent in 2018 from 30 percent in 2014, due mainly to a lack of captive buyers, the Korea Economic Research Institute said in a statement. 


"Unlike their Korean rivals, Chinese power battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. and BYD Co. Ltd. are rapidly growing players in the car battery market helped by domestic demand. Panasonic Corp. has secured clients, such as US electric car maker Tesla, Inc.," the statement said.

Currently, battery makers in the three countries meet 80 percent of the world's EV battery requirements.

In Korea, there is no major manufacturer of all-electric vehicles. Hyundai Motor Group has generally been keen to develop hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles, although they make pure electric cars.

KERI advised the government to purchase more EVs for the public sector, provide more subsidies to buyers of such green cars and beef up the country's charging infrastructure.

The government said it is pushing to get 250,000 EVs to the public and private sectors by 2020, while increasing investments in charging stations in major cities. (Yonhap)