S.Korea's Kia adopts CATL batteries for EV sold at home - media report

SEOUL, June 22 (Reuters) - South Korea’s Kia Corp has chosen batteries from China’s CATL for an electric vehicle (EV) to be sold domestically, a newspaper said on Wednesday, the first time it will use EV batteries from another country for local sales.

The Hyundai Motor Co affiliate has decided to use Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) batteries for its electric crossover SUV Niro to expand its battery vendors, Hankook Ilbo newspaper reported, citing an unnamed Kia official.

The automaker also factored in cost-competitiveness when making its decision, the report said.

Kia and CATL were not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters.

The newspaper said Kia had not yet disclosed its decision to adopt CATL’s batteries to its customers.

Hyundai Motor and Kia have so far used batteries made by South Korean firms, including LG Energy Solution Ltd (LGES) and SK Innovation’s SK On, for electric vehicles for the South Korean market.

CATL, whose clients include Tesla Inc and Volkswagen AG, is the world’s largest battery maker with more 35% of the global EV battery market share, according to industry tracker SNE Research.

Three major South Korean battery makers - LGES, SK On and Samsung SDI Co Ltd - together command more than a quarter of the global market.

Reporting by Heekyong Yang; editing by Richard Pullin