Global EV battery sales surge as demand for clean cars booms

01 June 2021 - 16:24 By bloomberg.com and Kyunghee Park
Global EV battery sales more than doubled in the first four months of 2021. Stock photo.
Global EV battery sales more than doubled in the first four months of 2021. Stock photo.
Image: Roman Zaiets / 123rf

Global electric-vehicle (EV) battery sales more than doubled in the first four months of the year as the switch to environmentally friendly cars gathers pace.

Sales of EV batteries rose to 65.9 gigawatt hours (GWh) in the January-April period, from 26.8GWh a year earlier, SNE Research said Tuesday.

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited’s (CATL's) sales almost quadrupled to 21.4GWh, cementing the Chinese company’s position as the world’s biggest EV battery maker with 32.5% of the global market.

“Despite the hit of Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the company’s performance has rapidly resumed,” CATL said in a statement. The firm is focused on building “long-term co-operation with international car makers,” it said.

CATL won about 16% of revenue from overseas sales last year, up from 4% in 2019, according to BloombergNEF.

Demand for electric vehicles is increasing as countries work to reduce carbon emissions, consumers embrace cleaner cars and costs tumble. Car makers such as Volkswagen and Ford are ploughing billions of dollars into adding more EV models to their line-ups, while industry pioneer Tesla posted estimate-smashing deliveries in the first quarter.

“CATL, BYD and other Chinese makers led the market growth,” SNE said in the statement. “With the Chinese market expected to continue expanding, growth for most of the Chinese makers is expected to exceed the market average.”

EV sales in China may climb more than 50% this year alone, research firm Canalys estimates.

South Korean companies also posted strong growth, helped by rising EV demand in Europe. Sales at LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation more than doubled in the first four months, while Samsung SDI posted 88% growth.

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