China is increasing its presence in the global electric vehicle (EV) battery market and this is being led by CATL, which is the second-largest EV battery supplier in the world behind Panasonic.
CATL recently announced that its plant under construction in Germany would become the world’s largest EV battery manufacturing plant in the near future. The plant’s manufacturing capacity is scheduled to be increased from 14 GWh in 2022 to 100 GWh in 2025. For reference, Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada is aiming at a capacity of 35 GWh.
Earlier, in July last year, CATL announced that it would build an EV battery manufacturing plant with an annual production capacity of 14 GWh by investing 240 million euros. More recently, the company decided to boost the capacity with the European EV market growing much faster than expected. At present, the European Union’s carbon dioxide reduction goal by 2030 is 37.5 percent.
In the meantime, market research firm SNE Research recently said that CATL’s EV battery shipments totaled 13,105 MWh from January to October last year, up 130 percent from a year ago. During the same period, LG Chem’s and Samsung SDI’s shipments added up to 5,157 MWh and 2,331 MWh, respectively. BYD came in third with 8,027 MWh.
Under the circumstances, competition between South Korean and Chinese EV battery manufacturers is likely to heat up in various overseas markets such as Europe.
LG Chem built an EV battery plant with an annual capacity of 6 GWh in Poland in 2017. Mass production started in 2018 there and its annual production capacity is scheduled to be increased to 15 GWh. Samsung SDI put its plant in Hungary into operation in 2018 as well and SK Innovation’s plant in Hungary is scheduled to be completed in the second half of this year. SK Innovation is going to increase its EV battery manufacturing capacity by approximately 30 GWh until 2022, which means its facilities in Europe are likely to be expanded in the near future.