LG Chem said it will supply lithium-ion batteries to CT&T

LG Chem Ltd. (KSE:051910), South Korea’s largest chemical maker, said Tuesday that it plans to manufacture batteries for low-speed electric vehicles starting next year.

LG Chem said it will supply lithium-ion batteries to CT&T, a South Korean manufacturer of low-speed electric vehicles, also known as neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV). The battery-powered cars have a maximum speed of 80km per hour.

Last year, CT&T exported 4,000 units to the United States for police patrol cars, while it is also pushing ahead with plans to build 40 small-sized assembly plants for production of the NEVs in the U.S. by 2012, LG Chem said.

Global demand for the NEVs is expected to reach 500,000 units this year, 1 million in 2012 and 2 million in 2015, LG Chem said.

LG Chem is currently providing batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) to South Korean carmakers Hyundai Motor Co. (KSE:005380) and Kia Motors Corp. (KSE:000270), and plans to supply them to U.S. automaker General Motors Corp. starting in November 2010.