During the first seven months of 2020, the global market for electric vehicle batteries reached 53.3 GWh; that is, 16.8% less than a year ago. This drop has been mainly due to the closure of factories due to the coronavirus pandemic, as the automotive sector has been one of the most affected by the global health crisis.
Interestingly, the three large battery producers in South Korea (i.e., LG Chem, Samsung SDI, and SK Innovation) significantly increased their business volume, doubling their market share from 15.9% to 35.6% between January and July. LG Chem has been the leading battery manufacturer, with 13.4 GWh and a 25.1% share.
The Chinese company CATL has ranked second, with a year-on-year decrease of 25.5%, remaining at 12.7 GWh produced. In third place, we find the once undisputed leader of the sector, the Japanese Panasonic, which despite supplying batteries to all Tesla produced in the United States, suffered a drop of 30.9%, with 10.1 GWh.
The fourth-place has been occupied by Samsung SDI with 3.4 GWh and a 6.4% share, growing by 52.6% compared to 2019. The manufacturer BYD is somewhat behind with 3.2 GWh and a 5.9% participation, representing a resounding drop of 60.8%. SK Innovation is fifth with 2.2 GWh and a 4.1% share, growing an outstanding 86.5%, while Envision AESC has remained in sixth place with 1.9 GWh and a 3.6% share, 12.9% less than in 2019.
LG Chem is benefiting mainly from European demand (in fact, it is interested in acquiring the Nissan factory in Barcelona to increase its production capacity further) and its association with Tesla in China. At the same time, Samsung SDI enjoys the ever-increasing sales of models like the Audi e-Tron.