CATL & BYD rise to join world’s Top 3 battery makers


Korea’s largest battery makers LG Chem and Samsung SDI are losing market shares to competitors from China, SNE Research finds. They pin the loss to increased domestic demand in China from electric buses and trucks. CATL appears to have benefitted the most.

As demand for batteries for electric vehicles is on the rise, competition is increasing. Whilst LG Chem and Samsung SDI not only dominate at home but have also many European clients, their hegemony is under threat from China. This means while sales are rising, marketshare is shifting.

According to SNE Research’s report, LG Chem shipped 1.671 GWh worth of batteries in Q1/2018, up 38.9% from the same period a year ago.

Yet the company’s global market share dropped from 13.8 percent in 2017 to 10.6 percent this year. Globally, they fell from second to 4th place in the ranking.

Samsung SDI’s global ranking went up from 7th in 2017 to 6th place in 2018 as the company’s battery shipments increased 47.1 percent to 879 MWh in the first four months of this year. Yet the company’s market share also decreased from 6.8 percent in 2017 to 5.6 percent.

At the same time, shipments from Chinese companies rose dramatically. CATL’s output grew 261.1% from 630 MWh in the previous year to 2.274 GWh this year, now putting the second in the world. Likewise, Chinese maker BYD increased shipments 180.6% to 1.735GWh, rising from fifth to third place.

Whilst Panasonic managed to keep its top position, its market share plummeted from 31.4 percent to 21.1 percent. Panasonic’s shipments totaled 3.330 GWh in the first four months of the year, up 21.5 percent.

This results in a new ranking of Panasonic, CATL and BYD as the world’s top 3 battery makers in that order.

SNE Research pinned the growth of Chinese battery makers down to an increase in domestic demand, particularly for electric buses and trucks. However, makers such as CATL have managed to convince major automakers from Europe to enter battery supply agreements. DaimlerVolkswagen and most recently Nissan and Renault have all turned to CATL in order to secure their supply for their upcoming electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Moreover, BYD is reported to look into setting up battery production in Europe and so is CATL. Both Chinese battery makers could thus rival LG Chem and Samsung on the same turf soon.


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