(Yicai Global) May 12 -- Chinese electric car and battery manufacturer BYD’s installed capacity of the lithium iron phosphate batteries used in new energy vehicles was the most in the country last month as leading battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology saw sales slump amid the recent Covid-19 outbreaks that disrupted production at its own plants and those of many of its clients.
BYD bagged 47.1 percent of the market for installed capacity of lithium iron phosphate batteries at 4.19 gigawatt-hours in April, an increase of 5.3 percent from the month before, while CATL’s share slumped to 34.2 percent, with its installed capacity plunging 56.6 percent to 3.05 GWh, according to data published by the China Automotive Power Battery Industry Innovation Alliance yesterday.
CATL still led in overall installed capacity of EV batteries, which includes the older, less efficient and pricier ternary lithium models. It clung onto a 38.2 percent market share, 12.2 percentage points less than in March, while that of BYD climbed 12.9 percentage points to 32.1 percent over the same period.
The recent waves of Covid-19 across the country and the ensuing lockdowns adversely impacted Ningde, southeastern Fujian province-based CATL’s output and that of its customers, a company insider told Yicai Global. Blocked transport routes also affected logistics, hampering the delivery of supplies and products, especially those destined for overseas clients.
CATL’s biggest customer Tesla was forced to halt manufacturing for 22 days amid the Shanghai lockdown, which is now in its second month. Even though the US electric car startup resumed production on April 19, its output last month tumbled 80 percent from March to 10,757 units, according to the China Passenger Car Association.
NEV sales slumped hugely in April. Nio, Xpeng Motors and Li Auto, all clients of CATL, saw a 49 percent, 41 percent and 62 percent plunge in shipments from the month before to 5,074, 9,002 and 4,167 units respectively.
The impact on Guangdong-based BYD, which makes its own cars and batteries, however, was limited. It shifted 106,000 cars in April, a 1.6 percent uptick month-on-month and more than double last April’s shipments. The jump in NEV sales was also boosted by the launch of BYD’s new blade batteries.
In April, China's EV battery capacity more than doubled from the same period last year, but dropped 26.1 percent month-on-month due to the recent flare-ups, the alliance said. Installed capacity surged 58.1 percent year-on-year but tumbled 38 percent month-on-month to 13.3 GWh.
Editors: Liao Shumin, Kim Taylor