Construction of 38 battery plants in Europe alone…It’s a real war.
Global automakers and battery companies are speeding up large-scale investments to take the lead in the market. Trillions of dollars are being invested individually or jointly to secure production capacity and price competitiveness.
According to related industries on the 4th, 38 battery factories have begun construction or are raising construction funds as of May alone in Europe. CATL, the world’s No. 1 battery maker, is building a 60GWh battery plant in Airfurt, Germany, at 1.8 billion euros. LG Energy Solution is currently constructing a 65GWh battery plant in Wroclaw, Poland after investing 1.5 billion euros. Among car manufacturers, Tesla is building a 100GWh battery plant in Germany at a cost of 5.8 billion euros.
According to European environmental group T&E, 17 out of 38 battery plants have secured funds, totaling $30 billion.
There is also active convergence between car manufacturers and battery manufacturers. LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation have decided to build large-scale battery plants in the U.S. in partnership with General Motors (GM) and Ford, respectively. The same applies to Volkswagen, Sweden, and Toyota and Panasonic in Japan.
Experts predict that there will be a full-fledged price fight as battery performance by global companies has reached a certain level. As of last year, the price of batteries for electric vehicles is around $137 per kWh, and its goal is to lower it to below $60 which is “half price.” Each company plans to increase its production volume significantly to secure an “economic of scale” and gain a faster price advantage than its competitors.
There are also paving stones to prepare for the explosive growth of battery demand for batteries. According to SNE Research, the size of battery market for electric vehicles is expected to grow tenfold over the next 10 years from $30.4 billion in 2020 to $304.7 billion in 2030.
It is also speeding up its efforts to secure new technologies for developing high-efficiency batteries. CATL recently introduced its first-generation ‘sodium ion battery’. Sodium that can be easily and cheaply sourced than lithium, which is the core raw material of existing lithium-ion batteries, is used as the core material. South Korean industries are responding by developing technologies by reducing the amount of expensive cobalt that is used in NCM batteries. LG Energy Solution, Samsung SDI, SK Innovation and others are planning to invest a total of 40.6 trillion won in R&D and 20.5 trillion won in facility investment by 2030.