SK Innovation (SKI) of South Korea is reportedly planning to invest a total of US$1.05 billion in an electric-vehicle battery plant in Yancheng City of China’s Jiangsu Province. The new battery plant will be its second plant in China, following the first one, which is based in Changzhou.
The projected battery plant is associated with Kia Motors’ plan to expand the overall output of its electric vehicles at the Yancheng auto plant following the production decline of its traditional car models. The overall output of the company’s gasoline cars had plunged to approximately 370,000 in 2018, which is a far cry from the 650,000 from 2016. With the help of the Chinese government’s incentives, the total sales of the country’s electric vehicles has jumped from a total of 449,000 in 2017 to approximately 756,000 by the end of last year.
Like SKI, a number of the industry’s other car battery manufacturers are also taking active steps to ramp up their capacities. The South Korea based battery manufacturing giant LG Chem, for instance, has already invested a total of 2 trillion won in the development of its second battery plant in Nanjing to take advantage of the growing electric car market.
Samsung SDI’s second major battery plant in Xian is also under construction now.
To tap into the the rapidly expanding electric-vehicle sector, SKI will continue to take steps strengthen its presence in the China market. The Korean battery manufacturer is already working with the Beijing Automotive Group to build a major battery plant in Changzhou. By the end of 2022, it will also work with Volkswagen to establish a battery plant in China that features an annual capacity of around 60 GWh.