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LG Chem is working on a potential new billion-dollar US battery cell factory for electric cars

LG Chem, one of the leading producers of Li-Ion battery cells for electric cars, is working on a potential new billion-dollar US battery cell factory.

The Korean battery producer is already operating a battery factory in Michigan and now it is looking to expand to support the growing electric vehicle market.

Reuters reports that LG is currently looking into locations for a $1.7 billion factory:

“LG Chem, one of the leading EV battery makers in the world that counts General Motors and Volkswagen among its customers, is weighing investing about 2 trillion won ($1.70 billion) in the plant that could begin production in 2022, one of the people said. Kentucky and Tennessee are among the candidates for the plant’s site, the person said.”

LG confirmed that they are looking at ways to respond to the global demand, but they don’t have specific plans to announce.

Volvo, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and potentially Hyundai Motor, GM, and Volkswagen are all listed as likely customers for LG’s potential new US battery factory.

The new factory would be coming as the competition between LG Chem and another Korean battery manufacturer, SK Innovation is ramping up.

SK Innovation is building a new electric vehicle battery gigafactory in the US and it supplies batteries to Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai-Kia Motors.

Meanwhile, it is being sued by LG Chem over allegedly stealing electric car battery trade secrets.

Electrek’s Take

They didn’t report a production capacity for the potential new plant, but $1.7 billion should easily result in over 10 GWh of battery cell production.

The industry is going to need a lot more than that, but it would be a significant addition to the battery production capacity in the US.

However, LG Chem is also worrying me with its lawsuit against SK Innovation since they are seeking to block them from importing products in the US, which could become an issue for electric vehicles equipped with SK’s cells.

Hopefully, it gets resolved without slowing down production and adoption of electric vehicles.

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