Kia's Chinese joint venture most likely will be a major customer.
According to South Korean media reports, SK Innovation is planning to build a second EV battery manufacturing plant in China (the first one is already under construction in Changzhou).
The new $1.05 billion investment in Yancheng, China would be close to Kia's car plant, which gives us a glimpse at who will be the main customer.
The Yancheng plant might be significantly bigger than the reported 7.5 GWh annually at the Changzhou plant.
"SK Innovation’s new plant will be close to the automaker’s plant in Yancheng and, as such, most of the EV batteries produced there will be supplied to Kia Motors. The plant in Changzhou has an annual production capacity of 7.5 GWh and SK Innovation’s EV battery production capacity is expected to significantly increase once the plant in Yancheng is completed."
Kia intends to expand its electric car offer in China, especially as the plant in Yancheng is experiencing a decline from over 650,000 cars produced in 2016 to 370,000 in 2018. A high volume of EV sales might reverse the trend.
Here we updated the list of SK Innovation battery projects and production capacity roadmap:
- new battery plant in Hungary (expected online in H1 2020)
- new battery plant in Changzhou, China (expected online in H1 2020)
- new battery plant (plan) in Yancheng, China
- new battery plant in U.S. (expected online in 2022)
- second battery plant in Komarom, Hungary (expected online in 2022)
- new LiBS plant in China (expected online in H2 2020)
- new LiBS plant in Poland (expected online in Q3 2021)
SK Innovation production capacity roadmap:
- Today: around 5 GWh annually
- by the end of 2019: 20 GWh annually
- 2020: 40 GWh annually
- 2022: 60 GWh annually
- 2025: 100 GWh annually and an order backlog of 700 GWh