By Lee Dong-in and Lee Ha-yeon
South Korea’s SK Innovation Co. reported the biggest gain in global sales of batteries powering electric vehicles this year with shipments more than doubling on year in the first seven months, according to latest survey.
According to data released by market research firm SNE Research on Thursday, SK Innovation ranked sixth among battery makers exempting Chinese names from January to July this year. It moved up one notch to the sixth after shipping 315.4 megawatt hours (MWh) of batteries, up 134.8 percent from the same period a year ago.
Its growth is biggest among top 10 producers, doubling the average growth of 54.6 percent. Its market share also moved up to 2.0 percent from 1.3 percent a year earlier, the data showed.
Its shipments jumped due to brisk sales of Kia Niro plug-in hybrid, Kia Soul EV and Hyundai Ioniq plug-in hybrid vehicles that its batteries powered.
SK Innovation has accelerated expansion in the battery front to catch up with its bigger local rivals LG Chem and Samsung SDI. Once its new battery plant in Seosan, South Chungcheong Provinc is completed within the year, its annual output will hit 4.7 gigawatt hours (GWh). Another manufacturing line with an annual output of 7.5 GWh is under construction in Hungary. It has also embarked on construction of its first plant in China with capacity of 7.5 GWh.
Once they all become operational after 2022, SK Innovation’s combined annual capacity will reach 20 GWh, capable of powering 670,000 units of EVs.
On Friday, shares of SK Innovation rose 0.79 percent to close at 192,500 won ($171.40).