Park Sang-jin, CEO of Samsung SDI, said that the future of electric cars is bright and it will account for seven percent of the car markets in 2015 and 17 percent in 2015. Park spoke on the trend of the battery industry in a meeting joined by his colleagues.
Mr. Park started his speech by briefly commenting on the history of cars dating from gasoline vehicles and 'primitive' electric cars. He pointed out the key factors of success has depended on whether the cars are energy efficient and cost-effective. "In this sense," he said, "The future for electric cars is bright and will soon be in high demand."In order for new electric cars to live up to consumers' expectations, he said that the price of batteries for electric cars should be affordable and reasonable. He stressed, that car makers should lower the supply price of electric batteries. Another factor relies on how long the electric battery can last. He analyzed that it should be more than 300 km for one recharge to meet the consumers' needs.
He added that are two more deterrents to be tackled. One is that the time to recharge should be less, and the other is that drivers should get easy accesses to battery charging stations. He recommended that drivers should be able to recharge the battery in five minutes.
SDI has focused on battery development since the 1990s for small-sized vehicles and is listed as number one for the small auto market in 2010. In 2001, Samsung SDI invested in R&D for the development of batteries for medium-sized cars.
Mr. Park estimates that the volume for the lithium battery market will grow from US$ 11 billion in 2010 to US$ 32 billion by 2015.The average growth rate will be 9 percent for the small-sized auto battery. By 2015, half of the total auto markets will be producing batteries for middle-and- large-sized autos.
Lithium battery competition for electric vehicles gets intense, he analyzed that Samsung SDI, Sanyo and LG Chemistry will clash heads, when they expand their territory. As the competition gets fiercer, Samsung SDI has no choice, but to enhance the quality and the stability of its electric battery. SDI also plans to pursuit a consolidation with Bosch to attract contracts for battery exports.
As to the question that so many players compete in a single market, thus raising worries about the over-supply, he answered, "We do not have to worry because the electric car market is still expanding." He added, "In regarding to the rumor of Samsung reaching its ambition of manufacturing electric cars one day, Mr. Park directly denied it by saying that there was no need to do so because the new battery industry grows much faster than car making.