SK Innovation’s shipment of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) jumped three times in 2019 from a year earlier, according to global information service EV-volumes on Jan. 15.
EV Volume said that last year, SK Innovation’s battery shipment was estimated at 3.5GWh to become the seventh-largest globally to surpass Chinese fourth-largest industry rival Guoxuan.
This marks the first time for the firm to become one of the world’s top 10 in terms of battery shipment, indicating that SK Innovation is seeing the results of its latest investment into the Seosan plant.
In terms of how much of its products have been installed in the cars, SK Innovation is likely to remain at eighth place with 2.45GWh, while Guoxuan would be at seventh place with 2.98GWh.
In the first quarter of 2018, SK Innovation had expanded its production lines, and also in August, 2019 to up the production volume to 4.7GWh. The operation rate also rose to around 90%.
The company’s first plant in Komarom of Hungary with a 7.5GWh capacity, and its Changzhou plant in China with a 7.5GWh capacity are to go into operation this year to add further to the company’s battery shipment.
At this rate, industry watchers say that by 2021, SK Innovation may catch up with other rivals, such as AESC of Japan and Samsung SDI. AESC started out as a joint venture between Japan’s Nissan and NEC. It was sold to Chinese energy firm Envision in 2019, but there haven’t been any announcements on future investment.
Samsung SDI is currently investing into its plant in Göd, Hungary. Additional investment will be completed by 2021. The battery shipment at this time is expected to be around 8GWh, indicating that there be fierce competition between the Samsung affiliate and SK Innovation.
China’s CATL was No.1 in the world in terms of battery shipment in 2019. In second place was Panasonic, followed by LG Chem in third place. These three companies took a more than 60% share of the market. Industry watchers say that you need to make it to the top five in order to keep the battery costs at a minimum and stay afloat.
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