#1 EV Battery Supplier Now LG Chem With New Daimler Deal?

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Top car manufacturer Daimler has selected LG Chem as its supplier for the lithium-ion batteries that’ll be used in its forthcoming “smart” electric vehicle (EV) — which is currently scheduled to be released sometime in 2016, according to a recent press release.

As per the terms of the new agreement, LG Chem will simply provide the lithium-ion battery cells itself, while Daimler will be the one assembling them into working vehicular battery packs. (Essentially the same as what happens in Tesla and Panasonic’s partnership.)

lg chem

With the signing of the new agreement, LG Chem has arguably become the #1 automotive battery supplier in the world — now boasting Daimler, Volkswagen, Ford, Kia, GM, Hyundai, Renault, Audi, and Chevrolet as clients. All of these companies now use LG Chem lithium-ion batteries for applications in EVs. On the other hand, LG Chem has a lot of ground to make in order to catch up with AESC and Panasonic in terms of total production.

This recent news follows pretty closely on the news, in November 2014, that Daimler would phase out production of lithium-ion battery cells at its subsidiary Li-Tec in December 2015.

At the time of that announcement, Daimler manager Harald Kröger was quoted as saying: “Our cells are very good, but at current production figures far too expensive. We have realized that a car manufacturer does not have to produce the cells themselves.”

As it stands currently, the extant model of the Smart ForTwo EV uses a 17.6 kWh Li-ion battery pack to run a 55 kilowatt (kW) electric motor that delivers 130 N·m of torque, along with a range of 145 kilometers (90 miles).


 

The new partnership has been hinted at before, as Daimler invited LG Chem (and no other lithium-ion battery makers) to the ‘Supplier Day’ that it hosted back in February, which gave the two companies time to hash things out somewhat (which appears to have gone well).

The President of LG Chem, Young Soo Kwon, commented on the new deal: “LG Chem will continue to lead the EV battery market with differentiated technology to make us stand up as global No. 1 battery manufacturer.”

Considering that the EV battery market is expected to explode in size over the next few years, that’ll continue to be quite some work. The upcoming completion of the Gigafactory should create some difficulties as well.

Image Credit: LG Chem


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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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