Vietnam’s EV battery market off to the races with 59-fold surge
Asian nation’s ambitious domestic carmaker Vinfast leads the charge
According to the Adamas Intelligence EV Battery Capacity and Battery Metals Tracker, which tracks battery and battery metals demand in over 110 countries, the US EV market is closing the gap on incumbents when measured in terms of the MWhs contained in batteries.
Chinese full battery electric vehicle (BEV) battery capacity deployed onto roads amounted to just over 145 GWh through the first seven months of 2023 versus 53 GWh in the US. That’s because the sales-weighted average battery size in the Americas, of which the US and Canada make up 97%, has now expanded to nearly 81 kWh versus the Asia Pacific average of just over 56 kWh.
Battery power has been going up steadily in all regions over the last five years as buyers demand EVs with longer range and more oomph. Despite its size, the Chinese market is still growing at a healthy clip of 30% while growth rates in total MWh deployed in the US are approaching 60%.
But in terms of pure percentage gains in battery power year-on-year some smaller countries are shooting the lights out, or in the case of Vietnam, burning the house down.
Growing very Vinfast
Adamas tracker data shows Vietnam is currently the fastest growing EV market on the planet, deploying an eye-watering 5,800% more MWh onto roads in July 2023 than the same month last year. It’s from a very low base, but the Asian nation now deploys significantly more battery power per month than some of its regional counterparts including Malaysia, Taiwan and Indonesia.
Vietnamese EV sales are entirely dominated by domestic carmaker Vinfast, which has cornered 99% of the market, led by the VF e34, a compact crossover SUV. Vietnamese drivers can lease the battery on a monthly basis rather than buying it outright, lowering upfront costs.
Vinfast was formed out of the vast Vingroup conglomerate headed by the country’s richest man, Pham Nhat Vuong, in 2017. Vinfast’s registered headquarters is in Singapore and the company exports small numbers of its Vinfast BEVs to the US and is planning to enter the European market later this year.
Vinfast stopped making internal combustion engine cars in 2021 and listed on the US Nasdaq market in August where it was briefly worth some $180 billion although the counter has since come back to earth. At $36 billion today it’s valuation is still richer compared to carmakers many times its size including Korea’s Hyundai and French carmaker Renault.
Australians power up 800%
Growth for number two in the ranking Australia is also impressive given the battery power deployed in newly-sold EVs on the continent was three times that of Vietnam in July of this year. In July, almost 500 MWh worth of battery power hit the roads down under, 792% more than in July 2022. Australian EV shoppers have a penchant for Tesla– the Model Y and Model 3 command half the market there and BEVs alone made up 87% of the sales mix.
The third fastest growing battery market is Turkey with a 787% jump in July this year although its overall market size (in MWh terms) is less than half that of Australia. Like the Vietnamese, the Turks support domestic carmakers with the T10X built by national champion Togg (which only opened its assembly plant in October 2022) grabbing nearly 11% of the market in July, only three months after the launch of the medium-sized SUV BEV.
Next in the ranking are Indonesia and Thailand with growth of 692% and 636% year-over-year, respectively. While EV unit registrations were higher during the month in Indonesia, in terms of battery power deployed the archipelago is far behind Thailand. That is because the market there is dominated by traditional hybrid vehicles made which make up 80% of sales.
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