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Last week, South Korea's LG Chem completed construction of what it hails as the world's largest automotive battery plant. The company says that its factory in Ochang, South Korea has sufficient capacity to pump out lithium-ion battery packs for up to 100,000 plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles per year. At a celebratory ceremony in Ochang, LG Chem's president, Lee Myung-Bak, said that South Korea's future depends on its performance in eco-friendly technologies, adding that growth in the green sector is an "unavoidable choice."

LG Chem intends to spend two trillion won ($1.84 billion U.S. at the current exchange rate) to build two more battery plants – one in South Korea and another in the U.S. – by the end of 2013. When both of those facilities come online, LG Chem will be able to supply batteries for up to 350,000 plug-in vehicles a year. Beyond that, the South Korean firm aims to increase its share of the automotive lithium-ion battery market to more than 25 percent by 2015 and, with deals to provide batteries to General Motors, Hyundai and eight other automakers, LG Chem may just have a shot.

[Source: AFP]


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  • 18 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Thanks for sharing this informative post .I do agree on the point that South Korea has sufficient capacity to pump out lithium-ion battery packs for up to 100,000 plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles per year,...


      Metal Roofing
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's excellent news, I only wonder if they're producing 18650 cells or those pouch cells.

      An entire 12 V / 75 Ah lead-acid module goes for under 0.10 EUR/Wh and 18650 cell (nanophosphate) is 0.20-0.25 USD/Wh in wholesale (grid storage) so these factories should provide nice cost drops.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Correction, the wholesale was more specifically "a proxy for the portable electronics industry" on a paper about large-scale energy storages (i.e. grid storage).
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sweet, will there also be a retail store.. i'll take some of those pouch cells you're putting into the volt for my eBike, thank ya very much ;)
        • 3 Years Ago
        lol, I don't think there's any (official) source for nanophosphate pouch cells but I'd say wait just a few months/years and there'll be.

        Remember that nanotitanate used to be small production in american high-tech labs and now it's available from Toshiba in mass-market (albeit only 4.2 Ah in 2010 and 20 Ah in 2011 compared to the 11 Ah and 50 Ah pouch cells in 2009 from US).
      harlanx6
      • 3 Years Ago
      Building close to the need is a good point. We know transportation costs will rise over time.
      • 3 Years Ago
      No mention in the article about the USA plant that will start production in June of this year. http://www.hollandsentinel.com/news/x816843339/LG-Chem-plans-to-hire-for-200-positions-this-spring-at-local-job-fairs
      • 3 Years Ago
      Funding under the recover act went in to building US battery manufacturing that will support producing batteries for 500,000 electric vehicles per year. Certainly LG started in Korea before us, but LG is also building here in the US. Part of the 350,000 quoted in the article is also part of the 500,000 I quote above. Because of there mass, and thus shipping costs, people who build batteries near the customer (the car manufacturers) will have a price advantage. If the car companies who build here build and sell electrics and hevs, then there will be even more battery production capacity built here. Of course someone has to buy the cars too.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I suspect that hundreds of million in grants to set up factories is the main reason why battery distribution is being spread about, rather than so much transport costs.
      harlanx6
      • 3 Years Ago
      We are getting our ass kicked. The only jobs we are going to get out of it is low paid clerks selling Korean batteries. It's pretty sad. I know, lets pass some more anti-business regulations and raise their taxes. That'l fix it.
        harlanx6
        • 3 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        You are right. It's a tough problem. I haven't got the answers.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        I will buy American products too, but:

        + American brands are often selling Chinese parts, marked up extravagantly. ( i call this the White Man Tax ), so i avoid this..

        + If an American company is selling something, it is not mass produced thus it is very very expensive compared to the Chinese product.

        + American companies often aim for the premium market and forget the low-grade, so they won't cut corners on anything.

        The result is always the Chinese part costing 1/2-1/5th the money as the American product.

        Regardless of who makes it, EV stuff is still quasi-experimental and not mass-market; the reliability just hasn't been dialed in. So, buying Chinese can potentially lose you a lot less money.

        Oh and we also don't make batteries here so forget that. But we will buy cells from China, assemble them in a pack and mark them up extravagantly though.

        Hard to compete with a country that has a drastically lower standard of living for their wage workers than us.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        harlan, did you just wake up last week?
        What business regulations are holding up Exxon from spending a couple Billion on a Battery Factory? There are none.
        Look it's time you started looking up some real facts instead of listening to some fat dumb radio moron.

        You've got your right-wing Oil, Coal and Gas CEO's Spending NOTHING on green technology. So, they get wiped out by Smart Chinese investments. They asked for it, by doing Nothing.

        Even GE, builds a timid sized solar panel plant.
        [ Apple spent 3 Billion with it's partners to assure LCD displays for the new IPad2, 3 Billion from one company ].
        These guys are going to get Rolled out of business.
        If you don't like it Buy some Stock and Complain at the next Shareholder meeting. Because, that's the only way the US will see any leadership.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        No friggin' kidding.

        We may not even get that. Go visit a batteries plus or a radioshack. See any lithium batteries, other than ones that are for laptop / camera pack replacements? yeah, i didn't think so ...

        It makes me sick that we are sitting on the sidelines of this revolution.

        Oh well, i'll keep buying everything from China i suppose.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        I don't have the answers, we can only hope to put pressure on the oil industry to start the process of moving into no-carbon solutions, because we have no choice.
        [ Texas Drought, and the Russian Wheat disaster last year are good reasons why. ]

        As T. Boone Pickens said you can't have a situation where we produce 88 billion barrels and demand 90 billion.

        There is some hope the smaller players are starting to see the solutions:
        http://www.de-gs.com/renewable-notrees.asp
        harlanx6
        • 3 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        Not much choice in the stores, but I always check. I will buy American made products or Canadian if I can.
        harlanx6
        • 3 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        Well Mike, I don't think major corporations would listen to me or even their large shareholders. It seems to me they just conspire to steal the profits from the shareholders and pay it out to the high corporate officers and directors. By the way, I don't listen to talk radio. I don't. I don't need anyone to tell me how to think. I have a lifetime of experience to draw from. I learn more on ABG than I get on the news. By the way, did you hear the president's speech today. I am not a Democrat, but I thought it was pretty good. If you have the answers, I'm listening. We are getting our ass kicked and it's a shame. There are not enough people pulling the plow and too many riding it. We need good jobs for our youth. Economic growth and opportunity is what the country needs. Too much unemployment now. People want to work, but the economy is sick.
      • 3 Years Ago

      well......
      Gulf Coast Supply is a metal roofing manufacturer and supplies wholesale metal roofing and residential metal roofing materials.
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