Circular batteries that once dominated the market thanks to handsets and notebooks are being revived thanks to the expansion of electric vehicles (EV).
Tesla’s strong sales of its EV that uses circular batteries has been the main catalyst for this.
Major battery makers Panasonic, Samsung SDI, LG Chem and Murata are all considering additional investments in the area.
According to research firms B3 and EV Volumes, Panasonic, Samsung SDI and LG Chem, the world’s top 3 circular battery makers, had their production capacity for the batteries double from 2017 to 2019.
LG Chem’s production capacity for circular batteries stood at 700 million cells in 2017 but this jumped to 1.7 billion cells in 2019.
Samsung SDI had a capacity of 1.8 billion cells and Panasonic 1.7 billion cells in 2019.
The three companies combined own a share of 63.4% as of last year.
Demand for circular battery was rising in energy storage systems and e-bikes as well, a person familiar with the matter said, and major companies are considering additional investment to increase their production capacities even further.
Tesla is also planning to produce 46800 batteries on its own in the next couple of years. The company said it wanted to produce 100GWh per year in total from its factories in Berlin and Texas by 2022. In 2030, this will increase to 3TWh.
Circular batteries grew rapidly up to 2011. But prismatic and pouch batteries became more main stream after that year. Circular batteries were used in power tools or robot cleaners starting in 2014 but the market matured quickly in those sectors again.