Sourcing lithium and nickel also to be talked about
LG Energy Solution vice chairman Kwon Young-soo will meet Tesla's executives this month to discuss collaboration in electric vehicle (EV) batteries, TheElec has learned on Friday.
According to sources, Kwon will discuss building a smart factory, next-generation cylinder batteries and procurement of nickel and lithium with the Tesla.
The vice chairman received the memo on the details this week. He will travel to the US over the weekend (May 13 to 14) and meet Tesla's executives sometime next week.
South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solution has been pushing its smart factory project to adopt automation in its factories and increase productivity.
Tesla was showing how interest in the project as a way to reduce costs, the sources said.
The US company is also currently developing 4680 (diameter of 46mm and height of 80mm) cylinder batteries with LG Energy Solution and Japan’s Panasonic.
LG Energy Solution is currently preparing a pilot line at its factory in Ochang, South Korea for the batteries and will likely share its schedule for the project with Tesla.
The US firm was building its own battery factory at Austin, Tesla but was facing some problems with technology that is impeding production, the sources said.
Two companies will likely discuss where LG Energy Solution will manufacture the 4680 cylinder batteries it is developing and when it can begin supplying them to the automaker, they also said.
Procuring raw materials needed to manufacture batteries will also be a key point of discussion between two companies. LG Energy Solution will give the lowdown on how it is operating its metal sourcing team and what supply channels it had secured from nickel and lithium to Tesla, the sources said.
Tesla could tell the South Korean battery maker that they should use the supply channels the automaker had secured instead, they added.
The US company, like other automakers, had secured various supply channels for nickel and lithium.
If LG Energy Solution is pressured to use these channels, this could affect its profitability as it won’t be able to use its own channel.
Meanwhile, Kwon is also expected to announce news related to its joint venture with General Motors during the drip as well.