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.