South Korean news outlets are reporting that the electronic giant LG Chem will build a new factory to produce batteries for electric cars in Europe. The new plant will reportedly have an annual production capacity of 50,000 battery packs, making it of similar size as the company’s Holland, Michigan plant where the company produces battery packs for the Chevy Volt and eventually the Bolt. The most likely location is in Wroclaw, Poland according to The Chosunilbo, but the company is still looking for a suitable site.
LG Chem is the second biggest battery cell supplier for electric vehicles behind Panasonic. The Japan-based Panasonic has a solid lead due to its partnership with Tesla Motors which requires the most batteries per vehicle of any manufacturer.
But LG is picking up steam with new deals to supply Renault-Nissan, Daimler and VW. In Europe, most notably, LG Chem supplies the battery packs for the popular Renault Zoe.
Battery suppliers are rushing to increase their production capacity in order to supply the increasing demand from automakers. Panasonic and Tesla are building the “Gigafactory” in Nevada, which they expect should supply enough battery packs for 500,000 cars annually, and in addition to the upcoming factory in Europe, LG is scheduled to complete a new battery factory in China by the end of this year.
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