The Top 5: EV Battery Manufacturers in the World

Highlights :

  • Global installations of EV batteries doubled in 2021 to 296.8 GWh as compared to the year 2020
  • Top 5 EV Battery Manufacturers in the World – CATL, LGES, Panasonic, BYD, SK On
The Top 5: EV Battery Manufacturers in the World

Advances in electric vehicle (EV) batteries and their associated technologies are finally attracting the interest of individuals to purchase EVs, contributing to the growth of EV batteries. The top EV Battery Manufacturers in the World are the frontline contributors to the growth of the industry. The scale of production forms a litmus test about market preferences. Recent advancements such as lithium-ion batteries, fast charging, and better mileage have helped electric cars become more passenger-friendly. Interestingly, the top 5 battery manufacturers contain ‘just’ 2 chinese manufacturers in a list dominated by Asia, although expanding the list will add a lot more to the top 10. CATL and BYD at no 1 and no. 4 respectively, while Japan’s Panasonic at no. 3, and South Korea’s LG Energy solutions and SK On at no. 2 and  5 complete the list.

The growth of the battery industry will be exponential as the EV market growth rate has been recently at an all-time high. Reportedly, the year 2021 saw electric vehicle sales of 6.6 million as it doubled compared to 2020. On similar lines, high demand has boosted battery manufacturers’ profits and brought heavy competition to the market. Markedly, global installations of EV batteries doubled in 2021 to 296.8 GWh as compared to the year 2020.

#1 Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL)

At the top of the heap is Chinese maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL), a battery manufacturer and technology company founded in 2011. The company specializes in the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems, as well as battery management systems. CATL leads the list of EV Battery Manufacturers in the World.

It was the world’s biggest electric car batteries maker, for the fifth year running, in 2021. CATL occupied a 32.6 percent share of the world’s auto lithium-ion battery market in 2021. The firm grew remarkably in 2021 as CATL’s installed power battery capacity reached 96.7 GWh, up from 36.2 GWh a year prior, an impressive increase of 167.13 percent.

As a supplier to major EV automakers like Tesla and Volkswagen, CATL has plenty of clients demanding its products. Additionally, CATL has developed other battery technologies such as sodium-ion cells as well as its own recently announced EV battery swap brand EVOGO. It is also set to lead in LFP batteries, fast emerging as a cheaper alternative to NMC batteries that were preferred till recently.

#2 LG Energy Solution (LGES)

LGES is a South Korean energy major. It accounts for a fifth of the global EV battery market and became South Korea’s second-largest listed firm recently. With an installed capacity of 60.2 GWh, LGES was second in terms of installed capacity worldwide. The Korean battery-maker boasted a 20.3 percent market share in 2021, as it recently announced aims to boost sales by about 8% in 2022.

The Asian energy giant’s revenue hiked by 2 percent to 4.4 million ‘won’ from the year earlier. Further, the firm set capital expenditure budget at 6.3 trillion won, 58 percent up. This is to finance capacity expansion at its global manufacturing facilities to meet the demand for its batteries. LGES’ larger plans eye to invest a total of $2.6 billion with GM to build their third joint battery plant in the United States aiming to secure an annual capacity of about 50-gigawatt hour. Simply put, it will be enough to power 700,000 EVS! A recent blockbuster IPO has also meant that LG’s battery firm will have more than enough charge to maintain or grow its market share possibly.

#3 Panasonic

Panasonic is a major Japanese multinational conglomerate company, headquartered in Kadoma, Osaka. It supplies battery cells for hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and full-electric vehicle lines. Notably, Panasonic is the sole maker of the more advanced Tesla battery, ensuring it remains a key supplier to the U.S. company even as the automaker seeks out battery suppliers in China and elsewhere. Panasonic ranked third with an installed capacity of 36.1 GWh and a 12.2 percent market share.

The Japanese powerhouse has in pipeline plans to produce a new lithium-ion battery for Tesla from as early as 2023. It further looks to invest about 80 billion yen ($705 million) in production facilities in Japan. In October 2021, Panasonic also unveiled the 4680 format (46 millimeters wide and 80 millimeters tall) battery. Panasonic will make the 4680 batteries at a plant in Wakayama prefecture in western Japan. It will have an output of less than 10 gigawatt-hours a year, equivalent to around 150,000 vehicles.

#4 BYD

There’s quite a battle between Chinese and South Korean firms for the hegemony in the sector with BYD rising in the list, second from China. Apparently, BYD was the fourth largest EV battery producer in 2021. It had a capacity of 26.3 GWh or 8.8 percent market share in 2021.

In 2020, BYD officially launched Revolutionary Blade battery, using LFP technology. LFP batteries have a lower energy density than most other lithium-ion cells but are cheaper, have a longer shelf-life, are less prone to overheating, and don’t use cobalt or nickel.

#5 SK On

SK On, the battery division of SK Innovation that was spun off at the beginning of October 2021, is now also developing LFP batteries for electric vehicles. Firing on all cylinders, SK On co-CEO Jee Dong-seob flirted with the idea of making SK On the world’s No.1 electric vehicle battery player with products that excel in safety, performance, and price competitiveness. Further, it has a share of 5.6 percent as it boasts 17 GWh of global EV batteries capacity.

It’s a great time to be a battery maker. The world could see 145 million electric vehicles by 2030, versus 10 million in 2020, as per IEA findings. In just five months of 2021, the total auto battery capacity deployed on the world’s roads was greater than all of 2018. With many new start-ups sprouting up in countries across the globe, and the EV segment taking on the mobility market with a storm, the batteries will further rise in demand, and the market shares are set to change. Thus, It will be interesting to observe which energy giants stay, and which new ones rise to global leadership.

Even as these firms lead the market for now, it can’t be denied that there are a whole host of other young firms striving to make an impact too. Be it newer chemistry, innovative manufacturing or backed by large auto makers, these new firms could make a dent on the top 5 list sooner than we think.

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Junaid Shah

Junaid holds a Master of Engineering degree in Construction & Management. Being a civil engineering postgraduate and using his technical prowess, he has channeled his passion for writing in the environmental niche.