How China became the leading player in EV Batteries

Over the last decade, China has aggressively grown in the EV battery industry, capturing every stage of the supply chain to emerge as the dominating player in e-mobility. Large R&D investments, favourable government regulations, FDI inflows, and aggressive acquisition of raw material resources across geographies were critical facilitators of China's phenomenal rise in Li-ion batteries.
Despite China’s low natural deposits of these critical elements, Chinese corporations have purchased mines in nations possessing these resources and are directly exporting them to China.

China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL) and Tianqi Lithium, for example, are among the largest buyers of lithium mines and refine two-thirds of the world’s lithium supply.

Tsingshan Holding Group of China manages the world’s biggest nickel syndicate in Indonesia. According to Bloomberg, Chinese companies held eight of the fourteen major cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2017. Such resource acquisition has given Chinese enterprises total control over the supply chain.

CATL has made significant investments in R&D and aims to invest an additional $440 million to establish smart manufacturing and R&D facilities dedicated to battery and smart technology development, according to CnEVPost.

Government initiatives have been critical in advancing battery technology innovation and manufacture in China. In October 2021, when the price of cobalt climbed by more than 30% in global markets and the price of lithium carbonate nearly doubled, the Chinese government boosted tax credits for cathode battery garbage from 30% to 50%, making battery recycling more appealing.

Western corporations have also made significant investments in battery production in China, whether it’s the Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai or Volkswagen’s stakes in battery producers Guoxuan High-Tech Co. and JAC Motors. Through enticing policies and incentives, the Chinese government has secured the correct attention and interest from global players.

Source: Arthur D. Little

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Source: How China became the leading player in Batteries 
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