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Published on February 22nd, 2015 | by James Ayre


Electric Vehicle Battery Makers — Full 2014 Sales Figures

February 22nd, 2015 by  

Editor’s Note: To someone who doesn’t follow electric vehicles and renewable energy closely, I imagine the battery storage market is one of the most boring things around. To anyone who is into these cleantech industries, however, battery storage is probably the hottest topic out there. It is for me. This short EV Obsession report on 2014’s EV battery storage leaders got me to lean forward. Hopefully it’s just as interesting to some of you. —Zachary Shahan

Comprehensive sales figures for EV battery manufacturers in 2014 recently became available, giving us further insight into the fast-growing market. Altogether, the year saw an increase of 54% over the previous year.

As far as the major players in the market, those haven’t changed, yetBYD has definitely been growing in presence and market share.

Rank Battery Manufacturer 2014 (MWh)
1 Panasonic 2726
2 AESC 1620
3 LG Chem 886
4 BYD 461
5 Mitsubishi/GS Yuasa 451
6 Samsung 314
7 Beijing Pride Power (BPP) 121
8 ACCUmotive 103
9 Air Lithium 102
10 Tianneng 77
TOTAL 6861

With regard to the top of the pile, Panasonic came in with a market share of 38% — still the undisputed market leader. The company saw 2,726 megawatt-hours (MWh) of capacity sold.

Next up was AESC (the joint venture between NEC and Nissan), with a market share of 23% — 1,620 MWh worth of batteries sold. AESC has lost a fair amount of market share since a peak back in 2012 (36%). With Nissan looking more and more to LG, that share will presumably continue to fall.

In third was LG Chem, with a 12% market share — 886 MWh of capacity sold.

BYD took fourth, with the success of the Qin doubling its market share — hitting 6%, up from 3% in 2013. Altogether, BYD sold 461 MWh worth of batteries. The rollout of the Denza means that this share should continue to increase.

Here’s some more from the EV-Sales blog:

Samsung has a partnership with BMW, and with the bavarian maker plug-in sales getting better and better, Samsung is experiencing a sales surge, it’s now #6 with 4% share.

Beijing Power Pride (BPP), battery supplier for BAIC, is first on a series of chinese battery makers, growing from insignificance to a small player status, BPP is now #7 with 2% share, but there are others, like Air Lithium in #9 (Kandi provider), Tianneng in #10 (Chery provider), and Wanxiang in #11 (That’s right, those of Fisker deal, they supply batteries for Zotye).

A final remark for batteries chemistry, Li-Ion batteries dominate the market, but now they only own 88% vs 92% the year before, because chinese battery makers (Like BYD or BPP) prefer LiFePo4 (8% share now vs 4% in 2013).

Altogether, an interesting year — and with the completion of the Tesla & Panasonic Gigafactory not really all that far off now, the next few years are looking set to be very interesting as well.

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About the Author

James Ayre’s background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • bpassot

    One question: Toshiba is not part of this top 10 ? What was its sales in MWh in 2014 ? And what about SK innovation ?

  • MrL0g1c

    Tesla plan to halve battery prices – something which happens every 6 years judging by the chart.

    Can Tesla’s Latest Venture Live Up To The Hype?

  • Jason hm

    I think Panasonic is going to fall in love with manufacturing in the US West and open up a stand alone operation in the coming years..Still lots land nice efficient rail transport system.. They can even do the mineral refining themselves and just bulk ship in concentrated ore from the mines in Canada.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Why not just use the lithium from the Nevada lithium mine down the road? I think a new section of highway is being built to make the drive shorter.

  • I thought LG would be higher…. nice list.

  • Offgridman

    These numbers help to reinforce what a impact the Tesla Gigafactory is going to have. Currently there are only two companies producing Giga watt hours (1,000 Mwh) worth of storage for EV’s. The introduction of a third player into this market on this level is going to create new competitive and cooperative efforts that can only help to expand the production of EV’s by all of the company’s.

    • John Moore

      I’m still skeptical. It is a huge promise that I’m not convinced they can deliver on. I’m hopeful, but you can’t just say that you are going to be the top company in the world at something, and dwarf everyone else’s production, and have it be true. You have to prove it. I’m hopeful, but wary. They are already taking in vast sums of up front money from California, Nevada and others. We’ll see.

      • Offgridman

        In the long run I don’t really expect them to be producing the most BEV’s, but am grateful for what they have done to encourage all the manufacturer’s to step up their game. Now as for the best quality, well that is something they are already doing and it may be possible for them to continue.
        As for any upfront money, tax credits or etc, when this has been done before Tesla has been more than prompt on repayment, and what they are getting is really a pittance compared to what it has taken to keep GM and the others viable. When Tennessee gives VW property way below value and voids taxes for twenty years nothing much gets said, but when Nevada does it for Tesla, it becomes an issue?
        Since the initial announcement a year and a half ago five or more of the other big battery manufacturer’s have also come out with plans for expanded or new production facilities, including BYD, LG Chem, Samsung and others around the world. While these didn’t get the same media coverage as the Gigafactory, it is wonderful news for the BEV world.
        We need to get off from fossil fuel powered transport, what Tesla has done with their cars to encourage the other manufacturers towards producing EV’s they are also doing with their gigafactory so that the battery manufacturer’s will be making the power source that we will need for so many BEV’s.
        Let’s hope that the Gigafactory ends up being the smallest of the battery manufacturing plants around the world, but that they all follow its lead in using renewable power sources in making them.

  • Jason hm

    Panasonic has figured out how to make money in the more for less marketplace.

    • Bob_Wallace

      If one considers that it is possible that the world’s cars will all be EVs down the road then one should be able to see why battery companies wouldn’t be fighting now for market share.

      Money is going to be huge.

      • Jason hm

        The market is going to be High volume low margin..The manufactures that focus on profit per unit instead of scale and efficiency are going to fail. There is not going to be any demand for $300kwh batteries. If battery manufactures are waiting for higher returns per unit there going to go extinct…

        • Bob_Wallace

          Right. Expensive batteries would mean that EVs won’t sell. The way the EV manufacturing business gets huge is for battery manufactures to get prices as low as possible as rapidly as possible and kick off giant demand.

          Navigant has been saying that materials (delivered at the factory door) for Tesla/Panasonic batteries run about $70/kWh. They should be able to be manufactured and solar for a reasonable profit for $100/kWh.

          Hit $100 and EVs will be cheaper than ICEVs.

          Game won. Annual EV battery sales ginormous.

          10%, 15% of ginormous is very big money.

  • Oil4AsphaltOnly

    Hmmm, this report only covers the batteries used for automotive EV’s it seems. I inferred this by taking the 33k Tesla’s sold last year and multiplied by 85kwh (gives 2,805 MWh). Did the same with the number of Leaf’s sold last year and multiplied by 24kwh (gives 1,200 MWh). Why not include their entire battery production, since both panasonic and LG make far more than just automotive batteries?

    Either that, or the EVObsession numbers are off by a few decimal places?

  • JamesWimberley

    This is a much, much more concentrated industry than either evs or solar panels; there are only six real players. Note the strength of Japanese suppliers (ranks 1, 2, and 5). It will be difficult to break in: batteries are not standardised, like solar modules, and a purchaser will put a high value on product quality and institutional reliability.

    • Agreed. Also, most companies are not going to have battery experts on staff who can evaluate every battery test cell they get pitched (like Tesla can do), and I think we’re already seeing Renault-Nissan shift more and more to LG Chem batteries rather than their own (if rumors are correct) — the experts that lead battery manufacturing are not easy to compete with.

      • Matt

        Yes, and while there are several small startups looking at solid state, there is a good chance that they will be absorbed by one of the big players. Unlike auto manufactures the battery big boys have not been asleep the last 15-20 years. They were already racing for make better/small batteries for all those portable devices.

    • Jason hm

      As EV and energy storage market starts to skyrocket battery production will seen more as heavy industry business than an electronics one…Batteries are not going to be a high margins en devour the money is in volume and efficiency..In 20 years it’s going to make about as much sense to make mass market batteries in Japan,Korea, or Taiwan as it is to make lead acid batteries,smelt steel or refine aluminum their today..Batteries Need to be closer to the feedstock, closer to cheap energy and transport, closer to less expensive yet adaptable labor and closer to it’s customers.

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