LG Chem opens lithium ion batteries factory for electric vehicles

When completed, LG Chem will be able to make lithium ion batteries for 350,000 electric vehicles a year, and the firm said it was aiming to increase its share of the global electric car battery market to more than 25 percent by 2015.  President Lee Myung-bak, GM Vice Chairman Stephen J. Girsky and LG Group Chairman Koo Bon-moo were among those on hand to celebrate.

“LG Chem is planning to build a second overseas plant in Nanjing, China, to mainly produce medium- and large-size lithium-ion batteries for electric cars amid higher demand,’’ Kim told reporters. “Consumers are paying more attention to electric cars. GM will sell more than 30,000 of the Volt electric vehicles, which is more than its previous target,’’ Kim said.

“LG Chem is seen to strike another battery supplement deal in Japan. Chances are quite high, though we can’t unveil the name of our new Japanese battery partners,’’ said the CEO. LG has already secured 10 carmakers as battery clients including Ford Motor, Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors and Renault, as well as GM.

LG Chem has doubled its investment plan for batteries to 2 trillion won by 2013 and also raised its 2015 sales target for electric car batteries to 4 trillion won. The investment could enable LG to boost production capacity to over 350,000 batteries from an estimated 100,000 this year. LG is also aiming to control 25 percent of the global demand for electric car batteries, it said in a statement.

“Now, electric vehicles are optional however the vehicles should become the car industry’s mainstream, someday,’’ said President Lee Myung-bak at the opening of the new facility.