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LG invests $450 million in producing Tesla’s 4680 battery cell format

LG announced that it is investing $450 million into producing 4680 battery cells, a format pioneered by Tesla.

While the Korean battery manufacturer didn’t confirm that the new cells will be for Tesla, it is extremely likely.

When Tesla unveiled its plan to produce its own new tabless battery cell in a bigger format with a new chemistry, the automaker claimed to have solved some major issues that were preventing the industry from producing bigger cylindrical Li-ion cells in a new format called 4680.

Tesla’s new 4680 battery cells have the potential to be cheaper, more efficient, and, therefore, enable a longer range or smaller battery packs.

The automaker had to develop new manufacturing processes to make the battery cell and deploy those at scale in its own new battery factories being built near Berlin, Shanghai, and Austin.

On top of those in-house production plans, Tesla is also partnering with current battery suppliers to deploy their own production of the new 4680 cell.

LG Energy Solutions was among the first to show an interest in building the new cell format.

This week, the company announced that it has greenlighted a $450 million investment into a 4680 cell production line at a factory in South Korea (via Reuters):

The South Korean battery maker, which counts Telsa Inc, General Motors Co and Volkswagen AG among others as customers, said it planned to invest 580 billion won to add 9 giga-watt hours worth of production capacity of 4680 cylindrical batteries at its No.2 Ochang factory.

With an average of 70 kWh per pack, 9 GWh would enable the production of around 125,000 electric vehicles per year.

On top of it, LG also announced a smaller $116 million investment into a production line to build 4 GWh of 2170 battery cells at its No.1 Ochang factory in Korea.

The 2170 cylindrical battery cell is also a format primarily used in Tesla electric vehicles, but a few other automakers are starting to use it, such as Lucid Motors.

The two new production lines are expected to enter mass production during the second half of next year.

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