LG Chem is expected to take a 16.8% stake in the global electric vehicle battery market this year to close in on China’s CATL, according to market research firm B3 on July 10.
That would mark a significant rise from last year’s 10.6%, although the firm would remain at third in the world. On the other hand, Japan’s Panasonic is expected to see its market share fall from 30% to 26%.
Chem, CATL and SK Innovation were the only three of the top 10 companies whose market share would grow bigger, according to B3. CATL's share was expected to rise to 19.6% from 18%, and SK Innovation from 1.5% to 1.8% as its Changzhou plant is set to begin mass productions in the first half of 2020.
Samsung SDI is also expected to take home a bigger slice of the market, and the firm is considering building its second plant in Xian of China.
The main driving force behind LG Chem’s growth is its Poland plant where in the first quarter of last year production increased from 6GWh to over 10GWh. Yield improvement in China’s Nanjing first plant, and plans to begin running the second plant seem to have played a role.
In fact, LG Chem has been raising its battery production target every year. In 2017, it aimed for 70GWh by 2020, but last year, it raised it to 90GWh. Now, it promises to further expand production by 20% in the fourth quarter.
When more battery production facilities enter Poland, LG Chem’s annual battery production is set to hit 120GWh.
Overall, the global EV lithium battery market is expected to grow by an average 51.9% a year from 2017 to 2021. This means the market will be worth $3.25 billion by 2021 after growing an average 35.6% every year from this year’s $2.12 billion.
“The market will show exponential growth beginning in 2017 when the second generation of electric vehicles emerge,” said the B3 report. “Major economies are also announcing plans to develop and nurture EVs, indicating that the prospects are good.”
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