LG Chem, Samsung SDI Named Battery Energy Storage Leaders, Not Tesla

MAR 20 2018 BY MARK KANE 40

Navigant Research’s assessment of strategy and execution for li-ion battery manufacturers for grid storage shows that LG Chem and Samsung SDI leads the industry.

There is no Tesla in the top 10, but maybe that’s because Tesla was not treated as the battery manufacturer (achievements are pretty remarkable though). Tesla uses batteries provided by Panasonic (or other suppliers) as well as produced with Panasonic at the Gigafactory.

RELATED – TESLA ENERGY STORAGE HEADED TO HOME DEPOT STORES, MAYBE LOWES TOO

Anyways, the energy storage market is expanding quickly and Navigant Research forecasts it to hit $23 billion by 2026.

So far, big lithium-cell suppliers for electric cars are among the leaders in ESS:

Top Vendors:

1. LG Chem

LG Chem has launched its residential battery system in the North American market with a high-voltage 400V version. This is its first from a lineup that will be available soon throughout the U.S. and Canada

2. Samsung SDI

3. BYD

4. Panasonic

5. Kokam

6. Toshiba

7. Saft

8. Leclanché

9. Electrovaya

10. CATL

Read Also – Tesla To Install 50,000 Solar Panels And Powerwalls On Homes In Australia

“Lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries have been the technology of choice for stationary storage projects in recent years. Due to a combination of low cost, energy density, efficiency, and safety, the technology has emerged as the go-to choice for many stationary energy storage system (ESS) developers. Li-ion batteries have also led the markets for energy storage in EVs and consumer electronics. The rapid growth in these markets has allowed suppliers to develop economies of scale through major investments in new manufacturing facilities that are driving down prices. The global landscape of Li-ion manufacturers is becoming increasingly competitive, with companies vying for market share and investing heavily in manufacturing and R&D.”

“The most successful companies targeting the stationary battery energy storage market to date are larger corporations with established businesses providing Li-ion batteries for EVs and consumer electronics. While several market barriers could limit growth in the near term, there is tremendous potential, as Navigant Research expects the Li-ion industry to reach $23.1 billion by 2026. Market growth will be spread primarily among the regions of North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, driven by regulatory changes and incentives before prices come down enough to compete with retail electricity rates. As the Li-ion manufacturing industry develops, it promises to deliver low cost, high performance systems.

This Navigant Research Leaderboard Report examines the strategy and execution of 10 leading Li-ion battery manufacturers that are active in the global market for Li-ion batteries for grid storage. These players are rated on 12 criteria: vision; go-to market strategy; partners; production strategy; technology; geographic reach; sales, marketing, and distribution; product performance; product quality and reliability; product portfolio; pricing; and staying power. Using Navigant Research’s proprietary Leaderboard methodology, vendors are profiled, rated, and ranked with the goal of providing industry participants with an objective assessment of these companies’ relative strengths and weaknesses in the global Li-ion batteries for grid storage market.”

Categories: BYD, ESS, Tesla

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40 responses to "LG Chem, Samsung SDI Named Battery Energy Storage Leaders, Not Tesla"
  1. Bill Howland says:

    I don’t see why this is a big deal regarding Tesla.
    GM buys battery technology from others like LG Chem and Tesla buys from Panasonic and others.
    Toyota or their subsidiaries may have electronic devices designed expressly for them whereas GM and Tesla simply buy what it currently on in the marketplace or contract for a specialized part.

    No biggie to me either way.

    1. Domenick Yoney says:

      I see it as an indirect slam at Tesla. Navigant isn’t confident in Tesla’s ability to scale production and/or stay in business. This, in turn, affects Panasonic’s standing, since Tesla is its biggest, and main, customer.

      1. DJ says:

        And yet BASF “doesn’t make a lot of the products we buy, they make a lot of the products we buy better.” Don’t know why they feel the need to advertise that fact but whatever.

        I don’t take it as a slam. Tesla doesn’t manufacture their own batteries. They take already manufactured batteries and package them and sell them. If their article was about the top 10 sellers then they’d probably be at the top of the list but it wasn’t!

        To me this article highlights the top 10 manufacturers and it seems to do that fine. Your guys butt doesn’t need to always hurt about something…

  2. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    These grid storage thangs…..

    What happens when your neighborhood loses power?
    Are these only for use by the “Grid” to help buffer load to your house?

    1. mx says:

      If your neighborhood loses power, your home electrical system will disconnect, and run on your home battery. If you have solar on the roof too, solar will recharge the battery during the day, and you’ll use battery power at night.

      1. BoltUp says:

        Most battery systems cannot provide the peak load required by a home and so the battery only backs up a few circuits (fridge, computer, lights…). The power demands of a home are not cost effective to fully back up.
        Many of the systems Solar City puts in, do not work when the grid goes down, and are only there to retain onsite solar generation, so it doesn’t get pushed to the grid at low cost and then purchased back at higher cost. In some areas, it just makes sense to keep the solar generated local, as it has more value.

        1. mx says:

          True. I’t cannot handle summer air-conditioning right now. But, possibly one room air conditioning with a very efficient air conditioner. But, at least it can keep the lights on, the heater running, the radio and telephones on. In other words, you probably won’t have to leave your house.

          Just like a gas generator but without the Noise and Stink.

        2. mx says:

          So, I guess you have to put that in the contract that you want the automatic disconnect from the grid during a power failure and home battery backup usage. I though that was standard now.

        3. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

          If I understand it correctly, when you lose power all generation stops to make sure no electricity get’s to the grid just in case a line worker needs to go up a pole.

          I’ve also never seen a house wired so certain circuits are the only ones switched when power goes off. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist though. All the house I’ve seen in the burbs with these power wall thangs, the owner tells me no power or circuits are switched and they’re just as dead as everyone else.

          Only house I have seen that did switch was one in the outskirts where the whole house was on an automatic transfer switch but with a gas genset.

          1. mx says:

            No, in a power failure, there are automatic switches that take your home off the grid, you don’t feed power back into your neighborhood grid. Electrical workers stay safe.

            Your home becomes independent. Your surplus power goes to your battery, and if your battery is full, you lose the surplus, it doesn’t go the the grid and you don’t make money.

            To get back on the grid, you’d have to manually reset the switch, I think. And you’d only do that when your utility notified you that your neighborhood power was restored.

            Different US States have different requirements.
            In my state, PA, the utility does not allow me to use my battery, except in a blackout. I could not use the battery to buy cheap power at midnight, and use battery power during the day. Although that seems completely insane, as it would balance grid load very nicely.

            The PUC would like that I ONLY use my battery for backup purposes. So, that I sell them cheap power during peak hours, and not use it myself during off peak hours.

            I don’t know how the Utility Commission gets to decide when and How I use My Battery in My House. But, you know, the US Supreme Court has allow Massive Corporate Control of Government with the citizens united ruling.

            Which not only allows Utilities to Dictate Solar and Battery State Policy, but also the Gun Industry to Write Gun Law, the Pharma industry to dictate Government Buying Pricing, and even how drugs are tested. Corporate America writes the law now. Thanks to Citizens United ( In Flooding Politics with Corporate Cash. )

            1. mx says:

              The switches can be automatic( more expensive ) or Manual ( Less expensive ). And yes, you can set up battery power just to feed a subset of your circuits, like your fridge, your gas or oil home heater, one room with lights, and a radio.

              The more battery power, the more circuits you could add. Or get 3 Tesla batteries and you might be able to supply your whole home. But, you’d need full solar on your roof to replenish batteries during the day.

              1. ffbj says:

                Jack Ricard of EV TV has a shop set-up to run on a P-85 battery pack. Probably 20 solar panels.

          2. Asak says:

            I think it’s a pretty common feature of solar with battery backup to have only priority circuits powered.

            But coming from someone who’s had it for 17+ years I can tell you that battery backup is not worth it. Don’t get it. It’s a waste of money and an extra hassle and it RARELY ever benefits you. The grid simply doesn’t go down enough to make it worthwhile.

        4. DonC says:

          Agree it would work well for time shifting demand. However, one Tesla Powerwall provides 7 kW of peak power. That should be enough to keep the lights on and the fridge running and the fans going without any problem. Two would do everything including a 4 or 5 ton AC unit, though the latter might need a super cheap hard start kit.

          1. mx says:

            There should be a Plus button for comments. +1

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        One piece of dismaying news related to the power outage in Florida, following the relatively recent hurricane, is that most solar power installations can not function independently of the grid. If the local power goes out, most of those with home solar power installations don’t have any power, either. Of course it’s possible to build them to function independently, but it’s more expensive to do so, and so most installations don’t support that.

        1. earl colby pottinger says:

          You forgot to mention, they work that way because the Florida Power & Light company demand it to work that way.

          They claimed the systems would send power down damaged lines making them a danger to repair even tho automatic cutoff switches exits.

          Heck, they have actively worked against having a 100% solar system that did not hook to the grid. I think they are afraid that once people realize they don’t need the grid they will lose customers.

          1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

            Yeah, I heard the utilities there have the politicians in their Jock Straps.

            They are correct though about making sure the grid tie inverters shut off when source sense is no longer there.
            If it continues to feed, the line worker may get cooked.

            1. VoteBlue says:

              It a Republican state; what do you expect?

          2. Bill Howland says:

            There’s one thing you guys are forgetting and its not BIG BAD FLORIDA P&L this time. My State (NY) also requires it, as does the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association – not that the louder people here care about their requirements).

            I however ‘care’ this much since I needed my system inspected and ‘certified’ to be able to get the resultant tax credits – which in NYS are substantial.

            However, my brand of inverters (Of which I have 2) will allow a TOTALLY SEPARATE ‘Islanded’ connection – which I of course wired up => 1500 watts per inverter – non-synchronized (that’s the catch 22 -> the inverters ARE synchronized and additive when the utility is there but they are when the utility is not), with ZERO overload capacity, so its use in the relatively poor buffalo sunshine is problematic.

            Its good for running small fans, modems, maybe a computer or tv set – but not enough juice to START a refrigerator or freezer – I use my electric cars for that (poor man’s V2Home).

            So I make use of the functionality of it during an outage, but its less of an advantage for the above reasons than at first blush.

  3. Someone out there says:

    Tesla doesn’t produce any cells, that is Panasonic’s part of the Gigafactory deal

    1. TheWay says:

      That is cool but Panasonic ranked quite low considering that:

      1) Panasonic is the LARGEST battery producer in the world. And produces more batteries than LG and BYD combined!

      https://insideevs.com/ev-battery-makers-2017-panasonic-and-byd-combine-to-hold-majority-of-market/

      2) Panasonic via Tesla has the highest energy dense cells.

      3) Panasonic signed on both Tesla (the largest demand for batteries of any manufacturer) and Toyota (the largest car manufacturer alongside VW)

      To say Navigant is not being biased is an understatement.

  4. CDAVIS says:

    From Article: “LG Chem, Samsung SDI Named [by Navigant Research] Battery Energy Storage Leaders… There is no Tesla in the top 10…”
    ———————-

    Yup…. and reported in a prior INSIDEEVs article:

    “Navigant [Research] Puts Tesla In Last Place Among Autonomous Vehicles”
    source: https://insideevs.com/navigant-puts-tesla-last-place-among-autonomous-vehicles/

    See the pattern there?

    According to Navigant Research Tesla is not a player in automotive autonomous navigation nor in battery grid storage systems.

    Question:
    How can that be possible when Tesla is in actual fact a forefront player in both of those spaces?

    Answer:
    When one drills down into the Navigant Research ranking methodology it turns out that the ranking is based mostly on business “strategy” & “execution”… which Navigant Research solely determines what is considered good “strategy” & good “execution”… which Navigant Research happens to be biased against the Tesla vertical integration strategy.

    So the Navigant Research ranking really gets down to a highly subjective ranking of business strategy.

    Considering that Tesla proudly wears on its sleeve it’s non conformity to traditional business strategy & execution it is understandable why Tesla is off-radar in the Navigant Research ranking.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I think it’s pretty clear that Navigant tailors (and biases) its reports for those it wants to sell them to. Obviously Tesla isn’t one of Navigant’s intended clients.

      “Let the jury consider their verdict,” the King said, for about the twentieth time that day. “No, no!” said the Queen. “Sentence first–verdict afterward.”
      — Lewis Caroll, Alice in Wonderland

    2. Someone out there says:

      The simple answer is that your “actual fact” is not a fact at all. Just because Elon tweets something it doesn’t make it true.

      1. CDAVIS says:

        @Someone out there said: “The simple answer is that your “actual fact” is not a fact at all. Just because Elon tweets something it doesn’t make it true”
        ————-

        Good try but a fail.

        Perhaps @Someone-out-there also believes several news organizations have conspired with Elon to publish non-truths?

        “(Reuters) – Tesla Inc switched on the world’s biggest lithium ion battery on Friday in time to feed Australia’s shaky power grid” source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-australia-power-tesla/tesla-switches-on-giant-battery-to-shore-up-australias-grid-idUSKBN1DV3VR

        “(fool.com) Tesla’s Powerwall is probably the most well-known battery for residential solar systems… Also, don’t forget about Tesla’s scalable Powerpack battery system. It’s one of the leading products in commercial and utility scale energy storage… That makes it [Tesla] a solar battery storage powerhouse with a number of ways to grow in energy long-term. ” source:
        https://www.fool.com/amp/investing/2017/11/29/4-leaders-in-solar-battery-storage.aspx

        “ (CNET) Tesla is changing the electric grid…Musk is a few steps ahead of the market… “ source:
        https://www.cnet.com/google-amp/news/tesla-is-changing-the-electric-grid/

  5. Viking79 says:

    “”There is no Tesla in the top 10, but maybe that’s because Tesla was not treated as the battery manufacturer (achievements are pretty remarkable though). Tesla uses batteries provided by Panasonic (or other suppliers) as well as produced with Panasonic at the Gigafactory.””

    Batteries are made up of cells. Panasonic makes cells. Tesla assembles batteries.

    Sometimes a cell is referred to as a battery (single cell battery) when you put it in a container like a AA “Battery”. I still call those cells, but I am probably in the minority there. The distinction in your statement might be important though. Tesla doesn’t make the cells so they wouldn’t show up on a list like this.

    1. Viking79 says:

      I am going to follow this up and say that Navigant’s comment blows most of their credibility with me. They talk about Lithium Ion battery makers for grid storage. They should include Tesla in that, as Tesla is the battery maker (not Panasonic). Their intent was to talk about the cell production, I believe.

      1. Mark.ca says:

        +1
        Playing the semantics card…

      2. BoltUp says:

        Tesla or Solar City?

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      It’s true that if you look at the origin of the term “battery”, it should not be used to refer to a single cell.

      Per Wikipedia:

      The usage of “battery” to describe a group of electrical devices dates to Benjamin Franklin, who in 1748 described multiple Leyden jars by analogy to a battery of cannon. (Benjamin Franklin borrowed the term “battery” from the military, which refers to weapons functioning together).

      However, the meanings of words do change over time, and words acquire new meanings. I submit that it is committing the etymological fallacy to claim that it is incorrect to refer to a single cell as a “battery”. (However, because I’m a Grammar Nazi, I try to remember to use the term “battery cell” when referring to a single cell, as I know that “battery” originally meant something rather different.)

      Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary gives, as one of several for “battery”, the following definition:

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      a group of two or more cells connected together to furnish electrical current; also: a single cell that furnishes electrical current {a flashlight ~}
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  6. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Does anyone actually give any credence to these probably faked, or at least very poorly informed, so-called “analyses” done by Navigant and Pike Research, the latter of which was acquired by Navigant?

    I suppose there is some entertainment value in laughing at how far off their analyses usually turn out to be, but so far as I’m concerned, the actual information content is near zero.

    You’d never know from the chart above that Panasonic vastly outsells BYD, LG Chem, Samsung, and every other li-ion battery maker.

    And why does the headline mention Tesla? Tesla assembles battery packs, but does not make a single battery cell.

    1. HVACman says:

      “You’d never know from the chart above that Panasonic vastly outsells BYD, LG Chem, Samsung, and every other li-ion battery maker.”

      ….because the Navigant chart wasn’t documenting who sells the most li-ion cells of all kinds for all markets. The Navigant Research report was specifically studying the global grid-connected battery energy storage system (ESS) market, which Panasonic is just now dipping its feet into via GF-produced cells for Tesla’s powerwalls and larger ESS solutions. LG and Samsung are the current leaders in THAT Li Ion market segment.

      Note that Samsung – not Panasonic – provided all the cells for Tesla’s much-acclaimed 129 MWh Australian ESS system.

  7. Hart Ed says:

    A 2018 summary of who-chipped-what will be very interesting if that information can be garnered. It looks like the 2170 format is very popular, and I will not be surprised if it ends up as the largest format. Anyone else have knowledge on who-is-building-what in volume??

  8. zzzzzzzzzz says:

    Tesla doesn’t produce any cells. It just leases factory floor to Panasonic. Why would insert “Tesla” into this article at all, to attract fanboys?

  9. Sam L says:

    Tesla purchases their cells from Panasonic, GM/Jaguar buys from LG Chem, BMW/VW goes to Samsung SDI.

    Still with Tesla heavily backlogged cars from “production hell”, you ought to wonder how much $ is being lost on Panasonic’s side with manufactured cells just sitting there.

    1. Nix says:

      The Model 3 isn’t the only product that uses cells from that factory. Tesla seems to be keeping Panasonic plenty busy building cells for battery backup systems.

  10. jim stack says:

    Yet Tesla gets their systems in and working bigger and faster. They have the most in and working while others still are talking. I’d place Tesla as number 1 in the real world.

  11. Nix says:

    Here is the test:

    1) Can Navigant sell the full version of this report to Tesla, so that Tesla can take the report and add it to their sales presentation to sell batteries to other 3rd parties as a battery supplier? No. Tesla doesn’t sell wholesale batteries to 3rd parties.

    2) Can Navigant sell the full version of this report to 3rd party car makers to help them decide if they want to choose Tesla as their supplier for their cars? No, Tesla ended all of their battery pack supply deals to other car companies.

    Conclusion: Navigant would have no reason to spend time looking at Tesla for a report like this. They are outside the scope of the purpose of these types of reports. This is a list of top VENDORS (AKA suppliers of batteries to other companies for their cars). They shouldn’t be on this list, they are not a Vendor.

    It would be like Tesla’s Menlo Park store being awarded the TIME Dealer Of The Year Award. It will never happen, because Tesla stores are not dealerships. Even if that Tesla store beats every car dealership hands down in every single way, it will never get the TIME Dealer of the Year Award. Tesla doesn’t have dealerships. Same thing.

  12. Doggydogworld says:

    If you show 100 people on the street an 18650 cell and ask what it is, 99 will say “a battery”.

    I’m no fan of Navigant ratings, but this is obviously a report on cell manufacturers. Large integrators, like AES, Tesla, GE, etc. use these cells to make energy storage systems. Tesla uses Panasonic in their cars, but uses Panasonic, Samsung SDI and possibly others in their ESS products.

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