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Korea’s share of EV battery market shrinks amid Chinese expansion

Korean battery makers’ share of the global electric vehicle battery market shrank last year amid ongoing expansion by Chinese rivals, a report showed Friday.

According to the report by SNE Research, Korea’s biggest battery manufacturer LG Chem’s market share for electric vehicle batteries declined from 8.5 percent in 2017 to 7.6 percent last year, staying in fourth place behind CATL, Panasonic and BYD.

Despite seeing 46.8 percent on-year growth in total battery volume actually used by customers -- from 5.03 gigawatt-hours to 7.38 GWh -- the Korean company’s market share did not expand further, as it was outperformed by Chinese and Japanese competitors. 


No. 1 battery supplier CATL posted 97.2 percent growth in battery volume and increased its market share from 18.2 percent to 21.9 percent, while second-placed Panasonic grew even more, marking 107.4 percent growth in battery volume and 21.4 percent in market share.

Another Chinese battery provider BYD came in third with 80.8 percent expansion in battery volume, taking up 12 percent of the market.

On average, the global electric vehicle battery market grew 64 percent in the past year, with total electric vehicle battery energy consumption reaching 97 GWh last year.

Samsung SDI, another Korean electric vehicle battery supplier, grew 28 percent, hovering below the market average.

The Samsung unit also slid from fifth to eight place with market share of 3.1 percent.

SK Innovation, a newcomer in the market, ranked 16th.

“In December of 2018, Chinese players showed aggressive market expansion,” the report noted. “Eight out of the top 10 players were Chinese, led by CATL and BYD.”

“The three Korean battery makers would need countermeasures for such aggressive expansion by the Chinese companies as well as Japanese,” it added.

By Song Su-hyun (