LG Chem is preparing to mass produce EV batteries from its new plant in Nanjing, China as early as 2020 after going through a pilot run in November this year, according to industry sources on Dec. 18.
The company has completed its phase 1 investment, a year and two months after the ground-breaking ceremony in October, 2018. At the plant, LG Chem will be churning out up to 32GWh worth of EV batteries by 2023, with the new plant producing around 6GWh. A total of KRW 2.1 trillion will be invested into this project.
This year, LG Chem is aiming to produce 70GWh worth of EV batteries, so that in 2020, it can produce up to a total of 100GWh worth.
Aware of the growing potential of EV batteries, China has announced further investment into the first plant in Nanjing. Once the investment has been completed, the total capacity will surpass 50GWh, according to market experts.
Added to this will be the 10GWh worth of batteries to be produced from the joint venture with Geely Automobile in China. Consequently, LG Chem would be producing up to 70GWh from China, despite its joint ventures in Poland and with General Motors.
China is the world’s largest EV market. Sales have been dwindling a bit on the reduced government subsidies, but it still remains the biggest. LG Chem has a further edge in China as it produces mainly pouch-type batteries that most Chinese battery makers don’t produce. Pouch-types have an advantage because they can be more flexibly applied compared to square and cylindrical-type batteries. They are also cheaper.
According to battery market research firm B3, LG Chem is estimated to take home a 16.8% share of the global lithium battery market for EVs this year. This would be bigger than the 10.6% of 2018.
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