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Revolutionary Batteries Steal Spotlight

LG Energy Solution and Samsung SDI, two leading battery manufacturers from South Korea, made their mark in the battery industry by unveiling new products to compete with Chinese rivals. The companies showcased their latest innovations at InterBattery Europe 2023 and EES Europe 2023, two prominent battery-related exhibitions held in Munich, Germany.

The inaugural InterBattery Europe 2023, organized by the Korea Battery Industry Association in partnership with COEX and KOTRA, was held concurrently with EES Europe 2023. This exhibition aimed to capture the attention of clients in Europe, which is the world’s second-largest battery market after China. Earlier this year, the Korean association had already organized the InterBattery expo in Seoul.

At InterBattery Europe 2023, LG Energy Solution introduced their new residential Energy Storage System (ESS) product called EnBlock E. Equipped with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery packs, this ESS product falls under LG Energy’s newly launched EnBlock brand. The company plans to manufacture the product in its Nanjing plant in China and commence commercial sales in Europe later this year. LFP batteries, known for their lower cost compared to nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) batteries due to lower energy density, have traditionally been produced by Chinese companies like Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL) and BYD. The demand for LFP batteries is steadily rising due to the increased adoption of affordable electric vehicles and energy storage systems for commercial and residential use.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the global ESS market is projected to reach $262 billion by 2030, representing a 24-fold increase from its value of $11 billion in 2021.

Samsung SDI also made a significant announcement at InterBattery Europe 2023 by unveiling the Samsung Battery Box (SBB), a product designed for residential ESS use. The SBB integrates battery cells and modules into a box form, simplifying the process of connecting to the power grid for end-users. Samsung’s latest product boasts a capacity of 3.84 MWh and features high-nickel NCA cathodes, enabling it to meet the daily power needs of approximately 400 households in Europe.

Additionally, Samsung showcased its LFP battery prototype, NMX batteries (which eliminate expensive cobalt found in high-nickel batteries), and cylindrical 4680-type batteries at the exhibition. The company plans to commence sample production of the 4680-type batteries at its Cheonan plant in the second half of this year.

Park Tae-sung, Vice Chairman of the Korea Battery Industry Association, highlighted the growing competition in the European market, with Chinese battery makers eyeing the region due to the favorable conditions brought about by the US Inflation Reduction Act. This legislation supports electric vehicles and batteries produced in North America. Europe holds significant importance for Korean companies as well.

The presentations by LG Energy Solution and Samsung SDI at InterBattery Europe 2023 have positioned them as key players in the global battery market, aiming to challenge the dominance of their Chinese counterparts. With technological advancements and increasing demand, the future looks promising for these South Korean battery manufacturers.