South Korean electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution Ltd (LGES) confirmed this week it plans to launch mass production of 4680 cylindrical battery cells later this year, to help meet growing demand from next-generation battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

Tesla, the world’s BEV manufacturer, currently uses in-house 4680 battery cells to power its vehicles but has decided to use outside suppliers to meet future demand.

The 4680 cylindrical batteries, which measure 80mm in length and 46mm in diameter, are larger than the 2170-type battery cells more commonly used today and are said to have five times more energy density and power output – increasing driving range by up to 16%. According to reports, more global vehicle manufacturers including BMW, Stellantis and General Motors, are looking to use 4680 batteries for future BEVs because of their better performance.

LGES’ CEO Kim Dong-myung told reporters: “We plan to begin mass production of 4680 batteries at our Ochang plant in South Korea by September,” adding that his company is also in talks to supply these batteries to other vehicle manufacturers in addition to Tesla.

LGES has been operating a pilot production line for 4680 battery cells to ensure they meet Tesla’s requirements. The company’s two main domestic competitors, SK On Company and Samsung SDI Company, and Japan’s Panasonic also plan to produce similar batteries in the near future.

Mr Kim also confirmed LGES will begin production of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries in the second half of 2025, initially to meet demand from Chinese clients. These batteries are said to have lower energy density but are much cheaper to make compared with the nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) batteries currently in production at LGES.

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