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Pike Research ranks LG Chem and Johnson Controls highest in new assessment of electric and hybrid vehicle Li-ion battery manufacturers

Pike Pulse grid for automotive Li-ion manufacturers. Click to enlarge.

A new Pike Research report, the “Pike Pulse Report: Electric Vehicle Batteriesevaluates 10 of the leading electric and hybrid vehicle battery manufacturers and rates them on 10 criteria for strategy and execution, including vision; go-to-market strategy; partners; product strategy and roadmap; geographic reach; market share; sales and marketing; product quality; and reliability, product portfolio, and staying power.

The report concludes that the manufacturers best positioned to take advantage of shifts in the market are LG Chem and Johnson Controls.

Lithium ion batteries currently dominate the nascent market for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and are slowly becoming selected for use in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and stop-start vehicles (SSVs), the report notes. As these vehicle segments grow to hundreds of thousands and then millions of vehicles sold per year, Li-ion production will enter volume production, lowering their cost and making the technology cost-competitive with alternative technologies such as Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries.

Japanese and Korean companies that originally produced cells for the consumer electronics and computing markets currently lead the automotive market. These companies are being challenged by companies mostly from China and North America that are slowly gaining customers, mostly in their domestic markets, Pike says. The Li-ion automotive market is entering a phase in which some smaller companies will fail or be acquired due to an inability to reach volume production. The market will likely see volatility during 2012 as some supplier agreements change hands, the report suggests.

Despite significant investment in battery production and technology development in the United States during the past three years, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese companies currently lead in global sales of electric vehicle batteries, and they are likely to continue doing so in the near term.

The market will likely see volatility during 2012 as some supplier agreements change hands, and some smaller companies will likely fail or be acquired due to an inability to reach volume production.

—research director John Gartner

Pike ranked LG Chem highest in both the Strategy and Execution categories in this Pike Pulse. The company has a diversified customer base of international automotive OEMs that are expected to be among the most successful sellers of hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles. This customer base will likely give LG Chem the largest market share for EV batteries in 2012, Pike suggests. In addition, the company has outlined a clear and consistent vision for developing and marketing its technology and has established manufacturing centers in proximity to its major customers.

Ranking second in both Strategy and Execution is Johnson Controls Inc., which sells Li-ion batteries to makers of both hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in all three of the major regions offering EVs: North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. The company’s diverse product portfolio and its development of energy storage technologies have created a positive reputation for quality within the automotive industry, but it must still translate its automotive relationships into a more significant market share to be considered a leader, according to Pike.

Pike’s Top 10
1 LG Chem
2 Johnson Controls
3 GS Yuasa
5 A123 Systems
6 Panasonic Group
7 SB LiMotive
8 Hitachi Vehicle Energy
10 Electrovaya



So A123 is who are the suppliers of Fisker-Karma and Smith Electric are supposed to have a better strategy than AESC, the main supplier to Nissan Renault who are looking to build hundreds of thousands of electric cars?

It is pretty clear that Pike will find some rationale to declare whoever sponsers them to be in a 'leading position'.

Absolute rubbish.


Is this based on sales ONLY or on the quality of the products?


"rates them on 10 criteria for strategy and execution, including vision; go-to-market strategy; partners; product strategy and roadmap; geographic reach; market share; sales and marketing; product quality; and reliability, product portfolio, and staying power."

Obvious some of the criteria are more than a bit subjective.


With LG supplying Volt, and now Hyundai 'long-as-you-own-it' guaranteeing their LG Sonata hybrid batteries - one can perhaps understand LG as highest rated.

But, example, maybe Panasonic supplying the Prius and Tesla batteries would rank above GS Yuasa.

It's refreshing to see Pike Research personnel skills transparency on their website, but their broad pronouncement's and 'boxy graphs' of an industry's best ratings need a little explanation.

What mainly makes X rate better than Y? Past sales, present contracts, technologies, brown bags, patents, ..


Partners, market share, sales, quality and reliability are quantifiable and objective. Vision, strategy, marketing, and staying power are less quantifiable and more subjective.

John Gartner

As the author of this report (and as a journalist for 20 years prior) I can assure everyone that this report was not sponsored by any company, nor were any past or present customer relationships a factor in the scoring. You can download a summary of the report at pikeresearch.com, or buy it to get the full details.


@John Gartner:
You say that 'this report' was not sponsored by any company.
So what about the network of relationships by Pike Research?

You turn out reports costing hundreds of dollars to buy, which consequently have a limited clientele but remain entirely uninfluenced by they corporate and political entities which are the only buyers of such reports?

That is downright heroic.

Of course, the real value of these reports is that companies or institutions who like the conclusions can quote them, so that they can claim that 'authorititative sources' say that the market for blah blah will increase by x percent by 2020.

However critics are not given enough information to be able to provide a reasoned critique but must lay out $1,000 perhaps in order to find out that the conclusions are likely to be as abitrarity drawn as the ludicrous and subjective block diagram at the top.

Where is the added value? Where the intellectual rigor or subjection of the case you wish to make to your peers?

There is absolutely nothing in these reports which could not be gleaned from the work of universities, government sources and information etc.

What you provide is spin, and your living is from its being spin that powerful interests want to see.

It may be journalism, or more correctly advertising, but is no part of proper academic or reasoned debate.

Teh insolence of people who want to make large claims of some sort of worth in their views, but refuse to properly argue their case and demand money before they will be prepared to present their arguments is unbounded.

You, sir, are a purveyor of clap trap and a snake oil salesman.


@John Gartner:
My tone was too harsh, and the personal criticism uncalled for.

The substance of my criticism of these various research organisations dependent for their living on the structures they purport to critique and with the bases for their conclusions obscured by paywalls remains, however.

The extreme dislike I have for the way in which this devalues rational and informed debate in favour of mere propaganda which one is surely entitled to think is subject to influence by those who one way or another pay for it is accounts for if not excuses my rancour.



Thanks for contributing, some of us get a bit cranky and cynical at times :)


Surely, AESC must dominate the BEV battery market.. and it sells all it can make :)


This is Andy Chu, VP of Marketing & Communications at A123. In response to Davemart's question on how A123 could have a better strategy than AESC, I would humbly submit that A123's diversified approach to vehicle electrification mitigates risk. A123 supplies batteries to a variety of customers, both OEMs and integrators. These customers include both passenger vehicle manufacturers, as well as commercial vehicle (bus, truck, off-road vehicle) manufacturers. A123 also supplies batteries for the full range of applications from battery electric vehicles, plug-ins, full and mild hybrids, and micro or start-stop hybrids. Of course, A123 is also a leader in grid energy storage, and although this was not a factor in Pike Research rankings, it is not unreasonable to believe that (all other things being equal) a battery supplier that has significant market share in grid applications has an advantage over one that does not.

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