Daily Management Review

Increased Demand Of EV In Europe And China Raise Hopes Of SK Innovation


Increased Demand Of EV In Europe And China Raise Hopes  Of SK Innovation
Resting its confidence on fast growth tin global demand for electric vehicle batteries, South Korea's SK Innovation, which supplies batteries to auto makers like Daimler and Volkswagen, plans to double its total production capacity by more than tenfold by 2022.
According to a senior manager of the company at a press conference at the company's plant in Seosan, by 2020, the company would be able to break even its battery business.
This planning from the South Korean company comes just a few days after Daimler, the maker of Mercedes brand of vehicles, announced that by 2030, the company would purchase battery cells worth more than 20 billion euros ($23 billion) as part of its global strategy of starting mass production of hybrid and electric vehicles. 
The regulations in Europe for diesel emissions are getting strict every day and this has pushed a number of European auto makers to aggressively focus on expanding their range of production of electric vehicles.
Even as the chip making subsidiary of SK Group - SK Hynix, is facing a fast slowdown in the demand for its products primarily because of a drop in demand from smartphone makers follow two bumper years of demand and growth, the Chairman of the group - Chey Tae-won, accorded greater focus to the EV battery business of the group.
This was evident in a slogan found written on a wall at the Seosan plant which read: "Til the day when all vehicles run with our batteries, and replace gasoline (vehicles), SK's battery team will be up and running."
Despite being a late arrive in the international market for EV battery market – a market that is currently dominated by the likes of LG Chem and Samsung SDI, SK Innovation has made public its plans for making investment worth around $3 billion since late 2017 for the setting up of new production plants for batteries in China, Hungary and the United States.
Lee Du-beom of the company's battery team said that SK Innovation would be helped by an increase in the EV sales quota of China and the pledge of the country to slowly phase out subsidies for electric and plug-in hybrids by 2020.
Under the present regulations in China, electric vehicles that are making use of batteries from South Korea generally do not get the same level of generous subsidies in China as batteries manufactured in other countries.
"We are not that worried about the China market," Lee said. "We believe that global automakers as well as Chinese carmakers will need to obtain batteries from foreign battery manufacturers."
Kim Tae-hyeon, the head of the SK Innovation's battery business team of SK Innovation announced plans of the company to increase the annual battery production capacity to 55 gigawatt-hours by 2022 compared to the current capacity of 4.7 gigawatt-hours annually,
Hyundai Motor is a client of the company which is also the owner of the South Korea's top refiner SK Energy.