EV battery cell makers results in Q1

EV battery cell makers results in Q1
LG Chem battery cell

In the first quarter of 2020, LG Chem was the EV battery cell maker that supplied the most battery capacity to automakers, in part thanks to Tesla’s strong sales in China.


Let’s see the results.


  • LG Chem: 6,385 GWh
  • Panasonic: 5,441 GWh
  • CATL: 3,064 GWh
  • Samsung SDI: 1,364 GWh
  • BYD: 1,228 GWh
  • AESC: 1,036 GWh
  • SK Innovation: 0,604 GWh
  • GS Yuasa: 0,176 GWh
  • Wanxiang 123 (A123 Systems): 0,1 GWh
  • Lishen: 0,31 GWh
  • Farasis Energy: 0,22 GWh
  • Sunwoda: 0,22 GWh
  • CITIC MGL: 0,22 GWh
  • Hefei Guoxuan: 0,17 GWh
  • CENAT: 0,15 GWh


Only six EV battery cell makers delivered more than 1 GWh during the first quarter of this year.

Curiously, Panasonic provided 86 % of the battery capacity used by Tesla and the remaining 14 % was delivered by LG Chem, which is now making NCM 811 cylindrical battery cells at its plant in Nanjing, China.


While Panasonic still remains a strong EV battery cell supplier, the future doesn’t look good. Relying almost exclusively on delivering NCA cylindrical cells to Tesla isn’t a wise long term strategy, especially now that the automaker also has battery supply contracts with LG Chem and CATL.

Moreover, Toyota, Mazda and Honda are the partners that Panasonic chose to deliver its new NCM prismatic battery cells and these automakers aren’t strong supporters of electric cars. The electric cars that they’ll be forced to produce by stricter Chinese and European emissions regulations will have minimal battery capacities.



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Maximilian Holland
2 months ago

Thanks for this data Pedro.
In the China market – CALB, EVE, Great Power, TAFEL are also decent size suppliers (respectively 0.14, 0.05, 0.05, 0.035 GWh in month of April). https://twitter.com/DKurac/status/1261197592203087873
Tesla consumed around 7 GWh by itself in Q1, so obviously has huge pricing power with the suppliers and could become the world’s largest cell manufacturer if it ultimately switches to making all of its own cells.

Maximilian Holland
2 months ago

Sorry – my name on the above post came out as a number. Blame Grimes/Mr. Musk?

2 months ago

Thanks for the link Max.

I think that it’s very possible that the narrative around Tesla considering to make its own battery cells is just a smart bluff by Elon Musk. This way EV battery cell makers are constantly forced to offer the best price and technology fearing that otherwise they could lose their best customer…

Maximilian Holland
2 months ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Thanks Pedro – I fully agree that what you outline as strategy/bluff is possible.
The same broad strategy of encouraging change via simply announcing ‘future plans’ could also be said to apply to the Semi, the Roadster and many other Tesla projects. Signaling intentions can often lead to change.
Of course this only lasts so long – you also need to have a reputation for following through on (at least some of) your stated intentions in order for folks to keep taking you seriously!

2 months ago

Pedro, sorry to give you more work, but I have a few questions. 🙂
1. Might you be able to plot total EV battery cell production over time, say for the last 10 years?
2. When you say “EV battery”, does this mean only lithium ion chemistry, or does it include NiMH and other chemistries, too?
3. Might you be able to plot how the EV battery production being used in personal cars vs bicycles vs trucks vs trains, etc.?
4. What about batteries produced for grid or home electricity storage?
5. How does EV battery production compare to total battery production, including for laptops, cell phones, and other electronics devices?
6. What is the form factor breakout, ie. cylindrical vs prismatic vs pouch cells?
7. Why (from what I have read so far) is Tesla the only company using cylindrical cells?


2 months ago
Reply to  Barry

Hi Barry, those are all interesting questions, but without the raw data it’s impossible to answer.
comment image

I assume that these figures are extrapolated from EV and PHEV sales.

You might find that some of your questions are answered by this really interesting report:


Tesla specialized in assembling battery packs with cylindrical cells because when it launched the Roadster in 2008 and Model S in 2012, high energy-dense battery cells were only available in that format, mostly used by laptops. High energy-dense battery cells for EVs in pouch format only started to be available in late 2016.

2 months ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Thank you! I have some reading to do……

2 months ago

Panasonic CFO just reiterated that Nevada plant has a capacity of 35 GWh/year. Isn’t it the 5,4 GWh Q1 figure a little low? Or do we guess that a lot of capacity is used for storage products? Thanks


2 months ago
Reply to  Rodri

Hi Rodri.

35 GWh is enough for 350.000 battery packs with 100 kWh each or 437.500 battery packs with 80 kWh each.

While Panasonic may have the capacity to produce that much, currently Tesla’s most popular models (Y and 3) require smaller batteries than the S and X. Production capacity is different from actually used capacity.


2 months ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

15.390 Model SX x 100 kWh + 87.282 Model 3Y x 66,5 kWh-on-average = 7,34 GWh needed in Q1, being conservative as more M3Y LR are made than SR+ I believe.

I still think the 5,4 GWh figure for Panasonic’s Q1 falls short. Anyway, this would only reinforce your point on Panasonic’s dependency from Tesla.

And also, does Panasonic have the capacity to innovate and further advance battery chemistries on its own, make them cheaper and be competitive? We will see.

Alain Marduel
2 months ago

One Spanish producer is Graphenano. What information do you have about it?