The global traction battery market is now dominated by Chinese companies, although South Korean competitors are trying to compete with them quite successfully. The Chinese giants will not enter the US market for political reasons, but can benefit indirectly from expanding their cooperation with Korean battery manufacturers.
According to the resource Business KoreaThis year, the South Korean authorities intend to remove import duties on 18 types of raw materials used in the manufacture of lithium batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. The majority of these raw materials come from China, where the main processing facilities are concentrated. These measures should give Korean manufacturers easier access to Chinese raw materials, but at the same time Chinese companies will be able to increase their raw material exports to South Korea to take advantage of growing demand in American and European markets. Direct exports from China are offset by protective tariffs of 25% to the USA, so it makes sense for Chinese suppliers to stimulate the business development of their Korean partners in this area.
At the same time, the authorities in the PRC market will refuse to subsidize the production of electric vehicles and batteries, making the playing field somewhat more favorable for South Korean manufacturers. The incentives extended to electric vehicles assembled in China, the world’s largest market for such vehicles. The products of the South Korean company Hyundai Motor are weakly represented there, but with the elimination of subsidies for local manufacturers, they will have better chances of catching up.