The global market for EV batteries has been expanding at a dazzling speed, reaching the size of US$27 billion in 2021 and approaching US$67 billion by 2025. Tax exemptions and rebates, subsidies, and zero-emission in China brought by batteries all contribute to the big sales of EVs as well as batteries.
Surprisingly, the top ten battery makers are exclusively headquartered in Asian countries, mainly China, Japan, and South Korea.
Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) takes up a whopping 32.5% of the market share, followed by LG’s 21.5% and Panasonic’s 14.7%.
As data from SNE Research shows, the top five battery makers, namely CATL, LG, Panasonic, BYD, and Samsung, make up over 80% of global battery supply.
On the top ten list, there are four Chinese companies, three Korean companies, and three Japanese battery manufacturers.
China domination serves no coincidence. Chinese companies, especially CATL, have secured vast supplies of the raw materials to make batteries. In 2021, CATL bought a quarter of the Kisanfu cobalt reserve, one of the world’s richest, in Congo with $137.5 million. Just days ago, Chile awarded a lithium extraction contract worth $61 million to BYD, though the deal was suspended by a local court due to environmental concerns.
Another important factor for CATL’s dominance is China’s strong demand for EV batteries. According to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), over 3 million new energy vehicles were sold in China in 2021. And the sales number for 2022 was projected to hit 5 million. As CATL provides lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries to Tesla, Peugeot, Hyundai, Honda, BMW, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo, and some emerging Chinese EV makers, it will continue to lead in the battery supply in a foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, U.S. and European countries have been busy making plans to catch up in the production of EV batteries.
As these developed countries speed up, new players might soon show up in the arena.