A new report from Lux Research makes the argument that LG Chem could supplant Panasonic as the leader of the growing electric vehicle (EV) battery market, and details the potential path to that happening.
That report — “Watch the Throne: How LG Chem and Others Can Take Panasonic’s EV Battery Crown by 2020” — notes that, while Panasonic is pretty clearly the current leader of the market (with a 39% market share), as the market continues to grow (becoming a $30 billion market by 2020) the dynamics could change swiftly.
Lux Research notes that, while Panasonic still has its partnership with Tesla Motors, LG Chem has recently made deals with many top manufacturers, such as Volkswagen, GM, Ford, and Daimler. If German manufacturers manage to see a surge in sales of their electric offerings, then all that would be necessary for LG Chem to take the top spot would be to win Nissan’s business, according to the report.
The most likely scenario, though, will see Panasonic retaining a 51% market share in 2020 — owing to growing sales with its partners. (We also just got news that Mercedes is partnering with Panasonic.)
Cosmin Laslau, Lux Research Senior Analyst and lead author, commented: “The battery world’s big three — Panasonic, LG Chem, and Samsung SDI — are engaged in an all-out war for market share in the emerging plug-in vehicle opportunity, yet their strategies differ wildly.”
Some key points:
- The market is still nascent. Despite the successes of recent years, the market is still relatively undeveloped. This is set to change within the near future, though, as major automakers start releasing long-range offerings.
- The future of the Renault-Nissan Alliance is hard to predict. While Renault-Nissan is expected to account for 9% of the market in 2020, the future of the joint venture with NEC is hard to predict. The potential is there for LG Chem to edge its way into Nissan’s circle.
- Next-generation offerings remain game changers. Improvements in battery technologies may result in big changes to market shares. Solid-state batteries, in particular, are an area to watch.