LG Chem’s EV battery plant in Poland is currently operating with an annual production capacity of 100.000 batteries. However, due to an expected massive shift to electric cars from European automakers during the next decade, LG Chem already plans to soon triple the annual production capacity to 300.000 units.
How soon we don’t know yet, but I guess that we can say by 2020/2021. That’s when European automakers will finally have to get more serious about electric cars – in order to comply with tighter EU emissions standards.
While in China Volkswagen chose CATL, in Europe Volkswagen will probably choose LG Chem as its EV battery cell supplier for the MEB platform. However, in the near future it seems that the upcoming second generation Renault Zoe and the 2019 Nissan Leaf will use most of LG Chem’s EV battery production capacity in Europe.
Nonetheless, LG Chem isn’t the only battery cell maker trying to strengthen its ties with European automakers.
Samsung SDI’s battery cell production in Hungary will start this quarter, so you can expect the much awaited battery capacity upgrade (42,62 kWh) for the BMW i3 to be announced in early summer. Furthermore, SK innovation is building its new EV battery plant in Europe (Hungary).
South Korean battery cell makers bet in Europe is due to several reasons such as:
- European automakers will have to produce more electric cars soon to comply with tighter EU emissions standards by 2020/2021.
- U.S. Federal Government isn’t interested in electric cars, nor in renewable energies. Trump is a very smart guy that discovered how to make “very clean” coal. Somebody give this man a Nobel prize already!
- In China, the Government favors domestic companies. South Korean battery cell makers can’t compete with CATL and BYD.
Anyway, it’s common knowledge that if we want to know what a company or group of companies are preparing to do, we should look at their suppliers first. The bet of South Korean battery cell makers in European production is a clear sign that good things will come.
Thanks for the head ups Michał.