LG Chem Ltd., South Korea’s top chemical company, announced Friday that it will set up a 50:50 joint project with General Motors to construct a battery cell manufacturing plant in the world’s leading automotive market in a worldwide push for no emissions.
LG Chem and GM also said that the partnership firm would spend up to a total of US$ 2.3 billion.
The joint project will set up a manufacturing plant for battery cells in the northeastern Ohio region of Lordstown. It is planned the development will take place mid-2020.
As per the LG Chem, battery cells to be manufactured at the plant will be delivered to GM’s battery-electric vehicles. The annual average capacity of the factory will exceed over 30-gigawatt hours (GWh), which is sufficient to supply 500,000 electric vehicles with batteries.
LG Chem Vice Chairman and CEO Shin Hak-Cheol claimed the cooperative project was greater than just a pure collaboration.
“This marks the start of a great adventure that will establish a pollution-free society and turn the international automotive market into an eco-friendly age,” Shin said at a ceremony at Michigan’s GM International Tech Center.
Because of tighter controls on greenhouse gas emissions, which science says is responsible for climate change, the EV battery industry has been on a roll as car manufacturers around the globe compete to go hybrid and environmentally-friendly.
Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of GM, said GM pledged to work on potential cell developments with LG Chem.
“Integrating our engineering experience with the latest battery-cell technologies from LG Chem would help stimulate our vision of an all-electric future. This will continue to increase the quality we provide to our consumers,” Barra said in comments left on the company’s website.
The new funding will help to boost the role of LG Chem in the EV battery industry as an international market champion.
As per the LG Chem, an electric car fitted with LG Chem batteries can run on a full charge of about 380 kilometres.
LG Chem sold batteries to more than 2.7 million powered vehicles, including Chevrolet, Toyota, Nissan, Porsche, BMW, VW and Daimler, and also South Korea’s biggest carmaker, Hyundai Motor Co., and its tiny subsidiary, Kia Motors Corp. Shin said LG Chem would have a global total capacity of 70 GWh by the end of the year and a world capacity of 100 GWh by 2020.
LG Chem has yet another battery factory for electric vehicles in Michigan. It also runs battery power plants for electric vehicles in Japan, Poland and South Korea. At 10:35 a.m., LG Chem’s shares were quoted at 294,500 won ($248), up 0.34 per cent from the close of the previous campaign.