The EV battery world has changed a lot in the past few years. Let’s start with the 10 largest EV battery manufacturers through most of 2022, but then also look at how this list is different from a few years ago.
As you can see above, CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited) is the big dog. It commands more than a third of the global EV battery market all by itself (just above one third, 34%). The second biggest supplier of EV batteries is LG Energy Solution (formerly called LG Chem), which had a much lower but still significant 14% of the global EV battery market.
A couple more South Koreans round out the top 6. SK Innovation has 7% of the market and Samsung SDI has 5% of the market. You’ve then got a handful of Chinese companies again, but they are all tiny compared to cousins CATL and BYD.
That’s 2022. The results are not that surprising if you keep an eye on EV battery news — automotive partnerships, factories, etc. If you’ve been following this market for long, however, the results are strikingly different from just a handful of years ago.
To start with historical comparisons, let’s go back 8 years. Back in 2014 (chart below), Panasonic (which was supplying all of Tesla’s batteries) was king of the hill, followed by Nissan-associated AESC. In third, we get to LG Chem, and then BYD was in 4th, just slightly ahead of Mitsubishi/GS Yuasa. You can see a few of those big names from the 2022 chart — LG Chem, BYD, and Panasonic. They’re just not quite in the same order. And, most notably, the big dog (CATL) is missing.
In 2015 (chart below), those three major players noted above (Panasonic, BYD, and LG Chem) consolidated the podium positions, with AESC falling to 4th. There’s still no sign of CATL, and while BYD & LG Chem may be in the top 3, Panasonic is worlds above them. Again, Panasonic was Tesla’s sole battery cell supplier back then, and Tesla was ramping up production faster than the competition.
Jumping ahead to 2019 and 2020 (chart below), you’ve got Panasonic still in 1st in 2019 and you’ve got LG Chem in 3rd and BYD in 4th. Now, however, instead of AESC in the top four (it has dropped to 6th), we see that CATL has shot up to 2nd place. Pretty much unheard of a few years prior, it was the rising star. And rise it did! It edged ahead of LG Chem in 2021 and never looked back.
We can look at that chart from the top of this article once more. In 2022, CATL is unrivaled. It supplies batteries for several major automakers, Tesla included.
Funny enough, back in April 2018, we published a story titled “Chinese Battery Giant CATL To Become #1 EV Battery Producer By 2020?” Maybe not quite in 2020, but it did in 2021 and it sure is far ahead of the EV battery competition so far in 2022!
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