Korea's electric vehicle battery market expected to surpass Japan's this yearUpdated: 2014-06-19 06:29:26 (KST)
China plans to have five million electric vehicles on the road by 2020 as part of plans to address its chronic air pollution problem.
It's a market Korea's EV battery makers are moving quickly to enter.
Korea's number one EV battery-maker LG Chem inked a deal this week to supply to China's largest automaker Shanghai Automotive Industry and Qoros Automotive.
"Shanghai Automotive Industry, unlike other local brands, caters to the high-end market. It has huge influence over the Chinese market, so we are expecting greater sales thanks to our recent contract."
From 2009 to 2011, during the infancy stages of the electric auto industry, Japan led the market, but Korea is making up ground.
Last year, Korean companies took up more than 40 percent of the EV battery market share.
And this is the year Korea is expected to leapfrog Japan.
Other Korean players are also expanding their presence in China as well.
Samsung SDI plans to invest 600-hundred million dollars over the next five years to build an electric car battery factory in China.
And SK Innovation has entered into a joint venture with Beijing BESK Technology with the goal of becoming China's top EV battery manufacturer.
"Korean companies face the challenge of developing safe, new materials that can be used in next generation products."
"Secondary cell batteries such as lithium ion batteries are regarded as dangerous because they contain liquid. Many companies from Europe and Japan are in the process of solidifying these batteries, but no Korean companies are trying it yet."
Extending the lives of batteries is another task for Korean companies, who hope to cement themselves in China's green car market, which is expected to grow 20-fold by the year 2020.
Connie Kim, Arirang News.
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