China’s overall economy is in the doldrums these days, but the lithium-ion battery industry is booming, according to market intelligence firm CCM.
Nearly 80% of the world’s new investment in Li-ion batteries was in China in 2014.
China’s electrochemical energy storage market recorded a compound annual growth rate of 110% from 2010 to 2015, about six times as high as that of the global market. The country produced 5.6 million Li-ion batteries in 2015, with a total capacity of around 15.7 GWh, triple the 2014 figure.
The world’s major battery manufacturers have been reporting record revenues and profits, thanks to increasing prices for raw materials and rising sales volume for downstream products. All have substantial investments in China, with plans for lots more.
Samsung SDI announced in April that it would exit the fuel cell market and focus on Li-ion batteries. The company has battery factories in Ulsan, Korea and Xi’an, China with a combined capacity that could meet the needs of 200,000 electrified vehicles.
In 2016, Samsung decided to invest a trillion Korean Won ($839 million) in Li-ion batteries, up 40% from 2015. The company is actively developing new battery tech, including solid-state and lithium-air.
In its 2015 annual report, Shanshan Corporation, China’s largest supplier of Li-ion battery material, reported that revenue increased by 17%, and net profit by 90%.