Global plug-in vehicle delivers reached 2.26 million units in 2019, a 9% rise compared to 2018, according to market research firm EV Volumes.
The Tesla Model 3 sold the most at 300,075 units, followed by BAIC EU Series’ 111,047 units and Nissan Leaf Pro’s 69,873 units. In other words, the electric vehicles (EV) took the top three spots among plug-ins.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global EV market is expected to grow slower than expected this year. Some predictions point to the market hitting bottom in April, with a possible rebound after summer.
Global batter makers’ performances this year will be inevitably tied with this.
TheElec takes a look at which automobile makers and their battery suppliers performed the best in the first quarter, based on the data from EV Volumes.
5th Place: Samsung SDI, CATL & BMW
BMW sold 37,736 units in the first quarter this year __ it failed to make the top ten in EV back in 2019. This is because there are more Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) than pure EV. For batter makers, pure EV are more profitable.
BMW gets it batteries from Samsung SDI and CATL. In total, Samsung SDI supplied 1.3GWh and CATL supplied 3GWh in the first quarter. The companies took fourth place and fifth place, respectively, in total battery shipment for the quarter.
4th Place: Hyundai gets Kona boost
Hyundai took fourth place with 37,741 units in the first quarter. Kona Electric was its best selling model. Hyundai sold 9,777 units of Kona Electric last year. But it sold 1,880 units in May alone in Europe this year. The model launched in April, 2018, and Hyundai has accumulated 96,053 units sold for the model so far.
LG Chem is the main battery supplier for the model. Hyundai sometimes uses SK Innovation’s as well. LG Chem supplied 6.3GWh while SK Innovation supplied 0.6GWh. This makes LG Chem the top vendor of batteries for the quarter, while SK Innovation places at 7th place.
3rd Place: Renault bets on Zoe
Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance takes third place with 55,866 units for the first quarter of 2020. Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf are the two top models from the Alliance. Leaf was once the world’s best selling EV, but has since ceded that position to Tesla. Zoe is looking more like the front-runner from the Alliance these days, selling 20,811 units last year, clinching second place globally. Zoe will go on sales in South Korea in the second half of the year.
LG Chem was the main battery supplier for the model, but AESC is also supplying more of theirs since last year. LG Chem’s battery supply was reportedly rocky last year. AESC supplied most of the batches for Leaf. It supplied a total of 1GWh of batteries in the first quarter.
2nd Place: Volkswagen
Volkswagen was the runner-up in the first quarter with 60,721 units. The company’s e-Gold ranked fifth place last year with 11,538 units __ but its not much, considering that Volkswagen is the world’s largest car maker. It will seek to turn this around with the ID3 and ID4 based on its Modular Electric Drive (MEB) platform.
It will be getting battery supplies from LG Chem, Samsung SDI, SK Innovation and CATL, procuring both prismatic and pouch battery cells.
1st Place: Tesla dominance boosts LG Chem, CATL
Tesla sold 71,506 Model 3 units in the last year, but sold 88,461 units in the first quarter of 2020, alone. This is in large part thanks to its Gigafactory in Shanghai beginning operations. Panasonic was the exclusive supplier of batteries before but Tesla now also uses LG Chem’s.
LG Chem supplied 14% of Tesla’s batteries in the first quarter. The South Korean battery maker has been supplying 21700 batteries since September. Tesla is also planning to launch Model 3 with LFP batteries in the second half of the year, with CATL as the supplier. It will be for the Chinese market. Panasonic, LG Chem and CATL are set to compete for more orders for the world’s biggest EV seller.