The business of batteries for electric vehicles does not stop growing, and with it its importance at an economic and geopolitical level. Europe is highly dependent on third countries for the supply of hydrocarbons (an issue that has been accentuated after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the embargo on Russian gas), but it is not the only energy problem. Although the European Union is the region that is most committed to the transition to electric vehicles, the truth is that we also have a great dependence on batteries, and more specifically on Asia. To the point that the ten largest battery manufacturers are all Asian.
In the first quarter of 2022, global battery production reached 95.1 GWh, an increase of 93.3% year-on-year, according to a report published today by SNE Research. Despite supply chain difficulties, rising raw material prices and the threat of a major battery shortage, global production of these devices has almost doubled compared to the first quarter of the previous year.
CATL continues to dominate the global market for batteries for electric vehicles with an iron fist. With 33.3 GWh of production in the first quarter of the year, CATL has a market share of 35%, according to the report. In fact, CATL has reinforced its leadership, as it has increased its market share by 0.6 percentage points compared to the 34.4% share it registered at the end of February.
LG Energy Solution is second on the list, with a production of 15.1 GWh in the first quarter and a market share of 15.9% (an increase of 2.1 percentage points from the end of February).
BYD follows with 10.5 GWh of production and a market share of 11.1%. Let us remember that, in addition to batteries, BYD also manufactures electric buses and trucks, electric bicycles and stationary batteries for both domestic use and industrial installations.
Panasonic stands as the fourth largest manufacturer so far in 2022, with a production of 9.4 GWh and a market share of 9.9% (a slight decrease from the 10.8% achieved in February). Panasonic supplies most of its batteries to Tesla, with whom it has a longstanding relationship, although it also has other major partners such as Toyota.
For its part, SK On (a subsidiary of SK Innovation, wholly owned by the latter) has supplied 6.3 GWh and occupies fifth place in the ranking with a market share of 6.6%. In sixth place we find the Chinese company CALB, with a production of 4.2 GWh and a share of 4.4%. The last three positions in the ranking are also Chinese companies: Gotion High-Tech, Svolt Energy and Eve Energy.
Below is a summary of the list of largest battery manufacturers in 2022ordered from largest to smallest:
- CATL: 33.3 GWh (35%)
- LG Energy Solutions: 15.1 GWh (15.9%)
- BYD: 10.5 GWh (11.9%)
- panasonic: 9.4GWh (9.9%)
- SK On: 6.3 GWh (6.6%)
- CALB: 4.2 GWh (4.4%)
- Samsung-SDI: 3.6 GWh (3.8%)
- Gotion High-Tech: 2.6 GWh (2.7%)
- Svolt Energy: 1.24 GWh (1.3%)
- Eve Energy: 1.14 GWh (1.2%)
- Others: 7.8GWh (8.2%)
If we group by country, among the ten largest battery manufacturers in the world there are six Chinese companies that account for 56.5% of world production: CATL, BYD, CALB, Gotion High-Tech, Svolt Energy and Eve Energy. However, China’s dominance is even greater, as ‘others’ includes several Chinese battery manufacturers.
Not counting smaller manufacturers, South Korea accounts for 26.3% of the market thanks to LG Energy Solution, SK On and Samsung SDI. Japan only has one company in the ‘top 10’, Panasonic, although it is the fourth largest producer in the world.