CATL has supplied EV batteries to S.Korea’s Kia – CATL spokesperson

SHANGHAI/SEOUL, June 23 (Reuters) – Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) has supplied electric vehicle (EV) batteries to South Korea’s Kia Corp (000270.KS), the companies said on Thursday, marking Kia’s first use of non-Korean EV batteries for sales at home.

The South Korean automaker, an affiliate of Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS), has chosen batteries from CATL for its electric Niro crossover SUV, aiming at expanding its range of battery suppliers, a South Korean newspaper reported on Wednesday.

“With sales of its battery electric vehicles growing globally, Kia is cooperating with various battery suppliers to diversify and stabilize battery supply,” Kia said in a statement to Reuters, confirming the use of CATL’s batteries.

A CATL spokesperson also confirmed the report, without elaborating.

CATL, whose clients include Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) and Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE), is the world’s largest battery maker.

Industry tracker SNE Research says the company has a share of more than 35% of the booming global EV battery market. Analysts say the market is worth tens of billions of dollars a year.

For domestic EV sales, Hyundai Motor and Kia have previously used only batteries from two South Korean firms – LG Energy Solution Ltd (373220.KS) and SK Innovation Co Ltd’s (096770.KS) SK On.

Those battery makers and domestic peer Samsung SDI Co Ltd (096770.KS) together command more than a quarter of the global EV battery market, according to SNE Research.

Reporting by Zhang Yan in Shanghai and Heekyong Yang in Seoul; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Bradley Perrett