LG Energy Solution Ltd (LGES) announced this week it plans to invest KRW730bn (US$566m) to build additional capacity for the production of cylindrical battery cells used in electric vehicles (EVs) at its Ochang plant in the South Korean province of North Chungcheong.
A total of KRW580bn will be invested in a new plant with a production capacity of nine gigawatt hours (GWh) of 4680 battery cells, while the remaining KRW150bn won will be spent on adding 4 GWh of new capacity for the same batteries at an existing facility on the site. Both facilities are scheduled to become operational in the second half of next year.
LGES said in a statement: “With the investment, we plan to actively expand our client portfolio with automobile companies and small electric vehicle producers that adopt cylindrical cells.”
The 4680 cell, referred to as a “game-changer”, is the latest cylindrical-shaped battery used by Tesla in its Model Y. It is said to provide five times more energy storage capacity and six times more power output than the smaller, previous generation 2170 cell. Tesla’s main supplier of cylindrical batteries is Japan’s Panasonic Corporation.
LGES is looking to expand its global market share by broadening its product line.