Published on March 26th, 2016 | by James Ayre


Top EV Battery Producers (2015 vs 2014 Top 10 List)

March 26th, 2016 by  

Originally published on EV Obsession.

Electric vehicle battery sales figures for December 2015 were recently revealed by the EV Sales blog, thereby allowing us to take a look at year-end totals for 2015 for the first time. These totals largely show us what we already knew — that Panasonic remains on top of the pile, and that BYD and LG Chem continue to grow. But they put interesting numbers to the story.

Panasonic’s consumer electric vehicle (EV) battery sales for the year totaled 4,552 megawatt-hours (MWh) worth of lithium-ion batteries. This figure represents quite a year-on-year rise from 2014 — when 2,726 MWh worth of batteries were sold by the company. The company’s market share has remained level at around 38%.

Top EV Battery producers

Battery Producer 2015 (MWh) 2014 (MWh) % of 2015 Total % of 2014 Total
Panasonic 4552 2726 40% 41%
BYD 1652 461 14% 7%
LG Chem 1432 886 13% 13%
AESC 1272 1620 11% 25%
Mitsubishi/GS Yuasa 600 451 5% 7%
Samsung 504 314 4% 5%
Epower 489 NA 4%
Beijing Pride Power 397 121 3% 2%
Air Litium (Lyoyang) 283 NA 2%
Wanxiang 268 NA 2%
 TOTAL 11449 6579 100% 100%


The reason for Panasonic’s market dominance is largely down to the company’s partnership with Tesla Motors, and the relatively large battery-pack sizes used in the Tesla Model S and Model X.

The second-place position was captured by BYD, with 1,652 MWh of batteries sold during 2015 — up a great deal from 2014’s 461 MWh worth of consumer EV batteries. The company grew its market share to 14% in 2015 — up from 6% in 2014.

It should be realized that BYD’s substantial electric bus battery operation isn’t included here, owing to a lack of reliable figures — if they were, then BYD would no doubt be running head-to-head with Panasonic.

LG Chem took the third position, with 1,432 MWh of lithium-ion EV batteries sold during the year — up from 886 MWh in 2014. Market share remained level at 12%. LG Chem is the supplier for the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and will be the supplier for the soon-to-be released Chevy Bolt — which will feature a notably larger batter pack than the Volt — but it also supplies batteries for numerous less-popular EVs & PHEVs.

The EV Sales blog provides more context and commentary:

AESC, the joint venture between NEC and Nissan, continues to lose share (Down 12%(!) YoY), with the Leaf sales losing steam and with Nissan outsourcing batteries to LG in the future, the future is bleak for the Joint Venture.

In a fast growing market, Lithium Energy Japan (GS Yuasa / Mitsubishi) sales have risen on a modest rate, hampered by the small battery volume each Outlander PHEV has.

Samsung has a partnership with BMW and FIAT, and with both auto manufacturers plug-in sales improving, Samsung has beaten last year result by a large margin, albeit it wasn’t enough to win market share.

Epower is the first of a series of small chinese battery makers at the bottom of the ranking, with BPP in #8, Air Lithium (Kandi provider) in #9 and Wanxiang in #10, an interesting fact is that all of them have increased share regarding last year.

Future developments to keep an eye on are: the continuing rise of the Chinese sector, the launch of the Tesla Model 3, and the beginning of production at the Tesla/Panasonic Gigafactory.

Images by EV Obsession | CleanTechnica (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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About the Author

'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+.

  • Kyle Fredericks

    Great article thank you.

  • Kraylin

    Great article and great progress! One negative I think this points out unless I missed a big announcement. LG is going to need significant new production capabilities to supply any decent number of Bolt EV’s. Is LG currently building anything significant to increase production?

    • Bob_Wallace

      LG is building capacity using multiple battery factories as opposed to one big one. The plan is to be able to supply 450,000 EVs by 2020.

      Some of those batteries are going to go to other EVs but most don’t seem to be moving past the ‘few for compliance’ point at this time. I would guess that GM could sell at least 350,000 units in 2020 if they can create demand.

  • Burnerjack

    Panasonic clearly has the lion’s share of the market, yet, their stock market performance is lackluster at best. What gives? May not be a ‘cleantech’ question but then again, the reality of a ‘green economy’ is often the ‘green’ in one’s wallet.

    • Freddy D

      The governance structure of Japanese companies/ keiretsu historically plows proceeds and profits back into R&D and sustaining the organization rather than enriching the shareholders through dividends and share appreciation. Thus, Japanese stocks have rarely had skyrocketing returns for outside investors like American stocks can have. So the return of a Japanese stock is not typically so indicative of the organization’s success. Just a different way of doing business. And, despite what so many American journalists like to say about Japan, the facts show a fairly prolific and vibrant economy.

      • Burnerjack

        Excellent! Thank you very much for this insight. I had no knowledge of this way of doing business. Explains it all! It would seem to diminish investment but I suppose that is another conversation entirely. Thanks again!

      • Bob_Wallace

        “share appreciation” is not controlled by a company. The value of a stock is determined by what the market will pay for the shares.

        Japan’s economy has never recovered following a deep recession many years ago. Lackluster growth means that companies are not likely to grow rapidly and create investment earning opportunity.

        It may be that Japan has decided that it is happy with slower growth. And with a shrinking population. In fact, that could be a good thing. But it’s unlikely to produce attractive investment opportunities for those looking for capital growth.

        • Freddy D

          Indeed – share appreciation, ultimately, is driven by the perception of future dividends or future sale of the firm in an acquisition. American firms usually maximize this dividend + “exit strategy” value and invest differently than Japanese firms, who look ahead sometimes several decades in investment planning. Also, the Keiretsu tend to be big, financially intertwined behemoths, and Matsushita (Panasonic) is no exception. No matter what one division does, the momentum of the whole thing drives the overall corporate performance.

          Now, having said all of this, Panasonic is dabbling in what has traditionally been oil company space – namely automotive energy. That’s a $Trillion market per year – with a T. I know plenty of silicon valley entrepreneurs and investors who get giddy over playing in a $50Million sandbox.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Assume an average of 60 kWh per car. 90 million cars manufactured per year. $100/kWh for batteries.

            That’s $540 billion per year. Add in storage and replacement batteries. A trillion. Could be.

            Puts it up in the top industries in the world in terms of dollars – alcohol, oil and pharmaceuticals. All roughly trillion dollar industries.

            I’d guess if someone were a growth investor they might do well by buying a diversified basket of battery manufacturer stocks.

  • solarone

    Tesla made about 50,000 cars last year. Guess the average battery for those cars was 80 kWh. That gives about 4000 MWh of batteries out of the 4552 MWh that were manufactured by Panasonic or 90% of their production.

    • Burnerjack

      Good point. That would connote a dismal future for Panasonic (battery production) when Tesla no longer needs their supply.

      • Kraylin

        I’m not sure I understand your point. Panasonic and Tesla are partners building the largest battery factory in the world, a long term relationship I’m sure. At what point do you expect Tesla not “needing” Panasonic?

        • Burnerjack

          I forgot that there was a partnership there. However, that being the case, my point was how ‘things’ might become ‘different’ once the Tesla facility is freestanding and self sufficient. Without input from Panasonic.
          I guess this question is borne from by continued disappointment and confusion with the stock performance.
          If you can offer an explanation for Panasonic’s stock performance, well, I sure would appreciate it.

          • Kraylin

            I am by no means a stock expert, I have fortunately benefited from the volatility of Tesla’s stock but I couldn’t necessarily explain it’s ups and downs either.

            My brief look into Panasonic to make this reply quickly shows me that Panasonic is a company many multitudes larger than Tesla with many different revenue streams. This complexity would make it very difficult to understand the company and its future plans and their relation to the companies current and future stock value. Suddenly understanding Tesla stock seems easy… Clearly the gigafactory should have a very positive effect on Panasonic’s future performance. Unfortunately as noted above although the factory is massive and game changing for Tesla, it is a very small piece of Panasonic’s business, impressive really.

          • Joe Viocoe

            I don’t think Tesla has any plans to make the Gigafactory “freestanding and self sufficient” . Panasonic will have a continual presence there, and every cell produced will still be counted as a Panasonic cell on this chart.

          • Burnerjack

            Understood. I have obviously woefully misunderstood the relationship between Panasonic and Tesla. Thanks.

  • Philip W

    Those numbers prove that we should watch BYD very closely. They almost quadrupled their production for car-batteries in 1 year. If you include buses it will look even better. That’s some serious growth.

    • RobertM

      From statements from LG Chem and Pansonic with the Giga Factory coming online I am guessing the limitations right now is not battery manufacturing.

      • Freddy D

        Limitation at what price is the question. Cross below that line somewhere in the neighborhood of $100/kwh, and then EVs are cheaper to build than ICE cars, not even including the far superior operating costs of an EV. Then the market demand would be many gigafactories worth. If the price is $300/kwh (as many hypothesize today’s prices are), then the market is limited to a small market of early adopters and needs subsidies to help it along. We’re getting very close to that price where market demand opens wide.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Tesla was paying Panasonic $180/kWh a year and a half ago. With the Gigafactory running cell prices to Tesla should drop to about $130/kwh.

          GM will be paying LG Chem $145/kWh for cells to use in the Bolt.

          I’m seeing predictions of $100/kWh around 2020. I think purchase price parity is a bit over $100. Things should get very interesting in just a few years.

          • juxx0r

            HI Bob, why do you think that residential energy storage is still hovering around the $1,000/kWh mark for those few that are in existence if the cell prices are so low?

          • Bob_Wallace

            I store my house’s power in batteries that cost me $2,000 for 3.24 kWh if I discharge only 20% in order to get 4,000 cycles. Or 8.1 kWh if I take my batteries down 50% and settle for 1,500 cycles.

            That’s storage for $247 to $617 per kWh. We need a different metric that calculates the cost of kWh for the life of the battery.

            Why is the new lithium battery storage so expensive? The simple answer is because it’s new. It will take a bit of time (and competition) to bring down prices.

            I’d guess vendors are now selling for whatever the deep pocket part of the market will pay. They’re selling little product and have fixed costs to cover.

            Cell prices (Panasonic at $180/kWh) are low because cells are being sold in very high numbers. The Tesla battery pack holds 7,000 (?) cells. 50,000 Model S and X in a year means 350 million cells sold to Tesla in 2015.

          • Phil

            Wet cell traction (forklift) batteries here in Australia for off grid use are $380 Aus per 1000 ah 2v cell.

            Assuming 30% depth of discharge max = 0.6kwh per battery pack. That’s $633 per Kwh

            Cycle life per the din standard is 2800 cycles to 80 % capacity at that discharge level.

            Lithium Ion is virtually zero maintenance , can take a higher charge current and does not have bulk , absorb or float cycles and can take full charge current virtually right up to 100% charge. It is also half the weight but there are possibly some thermal runaway issues ( fire risk) with some lithium Ion types

            Yet where are these cheap Lithium Ion Batteries. A quick look on ebay in Australia shows a 100ah lithium ion 12v battery is $1200. That’s 1.2kwh assuming 100% discharge and $1000 a Kwh. One would hope the cycle life is double the lead acid at the equivelant Kwh capacity would make it 5600 cycles full 100% discharge cycles to 80% capacity.

          • eveee

            The calculation and units are cost/kwhr cycle. Why don’t we just express it in those units? That would differentiate it from initial storage capacity figures in kwhr.

          • Bob_Wallace

            That makes sense to me, I think. But perhaps not.

            Going back to my T105-REs. They will store 3.24 kWh if I discharge only 20% in order to get 4,000 cycles. Or 8.1 kWh if I take my batteries down 50% and settle for 1,000 cycles

            3.24 kWh x 4,000 cycles = 12,960

            8.1 kWh x 1,000 cycles = 8,100

            If I push the lead acids lower then I get less power stored over the life of the batteries.

            (I made an error in my earlier post. It should been 1k cycles, not 1.5k.)

          • eveee

            Thats the trouble with cycles. They vary with use. It takes getting used to the idea that its not an easily fixed number.

          • Bob_Wallace

            42 MPG Highway. 35 MPG City. 37 MPG Combined.

            Probably have to create a typical use profile.

          • eveee

            Those profiles could be created by the management software as a means of controlling the performance. That would be the best way to do it. With grid tied solar in a given area sized to less than the demand, that could be managed to be fairly steady. If its less than demand, the discharge could be programmed independently of demand.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’m thinking about how one number could be used to compare storage methods.

            Assume there’s a number ‘X’ that combines installed cost, operating cost, cycles and any other factors that apply. X may need to be expressed in terms of a range.

            (RE: my 12,960 and 8,100. $2,000 / 12,960 = $0.15/kWh stored. $2,000 / 8,100 = $0.25/kWh stored.)

            Am I thinking about a Levelized Cost of Storage?

          • eveee

            Could be. I bet Lazards is 🙂 They and RMI have thrown some ideas in about how storage gets assessed. Its not easy.

            How does one value emergency backup? Lost goldfish? Necessary medical gear backup cost?

          • Bob_Wallace

            The goldfish stuff, that’s what in Bayesian probability theory is termed “utility”. One determines, as best possible, the likelihood of an event and they determines the cost of the outcome.

            Once you’ve reached a value estimate based on probability and utility then one would look for the storage solution that would cost the least. If storage costs too much then you write off the goldfish/grandma.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Lazard possibly has the model. Need it verified/improved and used for specific products, not just comparing technologies.

          • Joe Viocoe

            Has it not been interesting enough these past few years? ?

          • Bob_Wallace

            She’s gonna ramp up.

            In five years we’re likely to look back and laugh at the tiny amount of wind and solar installed in 2016. We’re likely to wonder why anyone thought oil would be in demand until it ran out.

          • eveee

            Who doesn’t like gooey, sticky sulfurous smelly stuff that sticks to your feet and shoes at Santa Barbara beaches?
            And who doesn’t like noisy, vibrating, smoke belching, fuel thirsty, unreliable vehicles that can’t get their energy at home and leave economies dependent on foreign dictators?
            What’s not to like?

  • vensonata

    Remember the U.S. dept of energy battery sunshot goal is $125 kwh by 2020. That was determined when batteries were $500 kwh. It appears to be easily achievable now, though many at the time were skeptical.

    • Joe Viocoe

      They also got very skewed numbers of over $1000/kwh back when Tesla was already using cheaper cells.
      They also botched hydrogen $/kg projections too.
      The dept of energy does a lot of great science and their EIA has a lot of great statistics… But economic projections are not their strong suit.

  • Freddy D

    Why is this article so great? Because it quickly and clearly presents one of the most fundamental metrics of the energy revolution: volume of EV storage produced, with corresponding growth rates, manufacturer market shares. Chalk it up with the great articles of the past few years on PV generation growth, PV cost declines, wind generation growth, and wind cost declines.

    What other metrics are essential to track and illustrate the energy revolution?
    – Utility scale storage growth and cost declines

    Some of the following may seem more mundane, but they’re essential to decarbonize in a green fashion:
    – Building energy performance audits (can’t begin to fix one of the biggest energy consumers without measuring it): What percentage of locales require auditing? What percentage of locales requiring net-zero new construction
    – Growth of rail transport (truly the greenest of transportation compared to EVs and roadways that require 10x the land per person moved)
    – Growth of bike transport as a complement to rail transport

    what other metrics are fundamental to tracking the energy revolution?

    The laboratory technology and “new-shiny-object” articles are cool indeed, but these articles with hard metrics are just fantastic!

    • I had understood the growth in rail transport was entirely related to shipping oil due to pipeline restrictions.

      • Freddy D

        Rail growth has been incredibly anemic in the US, with a few exceptions such as oil trains as you mention. Intermodal has grown nicely too, which takes hundreds of thousands of trucks off the freeways, saving immense amounts of diesel and freeway expansion/land destruction. But this has generally been stuffing more through the 1.5 century old existing system (I’m not exaggerating on 1.5 century old – they’re literally the same crappy alignments built in the mid 1800s, which are massively out of date now). As far as developing modern passenger rail alignments in the cities and between cities, virtually nothing has been done in the US, so the country has massive roadway costs and congestion everywhere now.

  • Graphite Gus

    Using the top 10 data above, the market grew 74% last year – 2015.
    With a wave of new car models coming on stream in 2016 – 2018 the growth rate will exceed 100%.
    And this does not include the stationary storage apps market

    • Matt

      Stationary storage and EV Bus batteries not included. They will add a bunch of volume and that will drive down cost!

  • John

    Expect the battery market double every year even without the Tesla gigafactory

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