LG Chem To Open EV Battery Factory In Europe — Maybe In My City, Wroclaw!

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Originally published on EV Obsession.

As many of you know, I’m from Florida but I’ve ended up in Wrocław, Poland. I’ve now lived here for over 7 years. It’s a beautiful city of ~1 million and has several large international employers sucking off the blood of the insane number of young adults who go to college/university here and then also stick around to settle down. LG is one of those employers. It has LG Electronics, LG Display, and LG Innotek arms here.

Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for Chevrolet
Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for Chevrolet

Getting to the point of the story, LG Chem recently announced that it is looking to open an EV battery manufacturing plant in Europe that will produce ~50,000 EV batteries a year… and Wrocław is reportedly the top contender for that.

By volume, Panasonic is currently the largest producer of electric vehicle battery cells, specifically because it produces the battery cells for Tesla Motors. However, LG Chem seems to have the most agreements with automakers to supply them with lithium-ion batteries. This includes big players like GM, the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Daimler/Mercedes, and Volkswagen Group (which has Audi, Porsche, SEAT, Škoda, and Volkswagen, among others, under its umbrella… for now).

At the moment, LG Chem has a South Korea EV battery factory that can pump out 200,000 batteries a year as well as a factory in Holland, Michigan, that can pump out 50,000 batteries a year. It is building a factory in China that will be able to produce 100,000 EV batteries a year.

Getting up to a total production capacity of 400,000 batteries a year is nice, but I hope LG has much bigger plans than that for the coming years. If it wants to become the #1 EV battery manufacturer on the planet, I think it’ll need to ramp up production very quickly to meet the surge in EV demand we’re going to see within the coming few years. And that’s only more true when you look at recent EV battery cost projections from GM/LG Chem.

Furthermore, 400,000 small batteries ≠ 400,000 large batteries, and the EV world should be shifting to large batteries, like GM’s Chevy Bolt (and a yet-to-be-named European version of the Bolt) will use.

Here’s a Bolt-load of related stories for more of the backstory:

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

500-Kilometer All-Electric Audi SUV Will Use LG Chem + Samsung SDI Battery Cells

New Report On EV Battery Market Details Potential Path For LG Chem EV Battery Growth

Samsung SDI + LG Chem Top Recent Business Assessment Of Lithium-Ion Battery Manufacturers

LG Chem Trying To Steal Tesla’s Home Battery Storage Thunder?

LG Chem Pushes Australian Battery Storage Prices Further Down The Curve

h/t electrek

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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18 thoughts on “LG Chem To Open EV Battery Factory In Europe — Maybe In My City, Wroclaw!

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  • Czyżby autor tekstu był Polakiem??? or only lives in Poland?

    • Pierwsze zdanie:
      As many of you know, I’m from Florida but I’ve ended up in Wrocław, Poland.

  • Isn’t battery production very energy intentsive? Shouldn’t it be put in a place with lower energy costs and cleaner energy? What about Norway?

    • You can build RE pretty easily, but cheap labour not so much.

      I don’t have numbers but I’d imagine that wages are quite a bit higher in Norway than in Poland.

  • How it is to live in a city between lignite and hard coal mining basins?

    • Seems like they need some battery innovation in that area.

    • Perceptions regarding energy are quite warped here… and global warming. I think I’ll leave it at that 😛

  • Great! We need more gigafactories the world over. If they can get quickly down to $100/kWh capacity, then it isn’t only for EV’s, it will have tremendous other applications.

  • Breslau was easier to pronounce and spell than Wrocław (with the slashed l, /ˈvrɒtswəf/). That’s settled of course. There is a real problem with the name “Kaliningrad” for Kant’s Königsberg. All the other Russian cities renamed after Stalin’s toadies have regained their old names; but Kaliningrad survives, there being no earlier Slavic name. I suggest going back to the Old Prussian Twangste. There aren’t any Old Prussians left to mount an independence movement.

    • There aren’t any Jews who survived the Holocaust left in … Wrocław either. Prussians along with other fellow Germans were busy a few decades ago killing them and other nationalities by the millions and now are getting a bit grumpy because of some lost territory?

      As to Kaliningrad it had lots of names in the past including Królewiec in Polish and Karaliaučius in Lithuanian. As you say there are no Old Prussians left so let’s leave the names of cities to people who actually live there now.

      What’s the point of discussing history on this website though?

  • Electric cars are expensive and environmentally damaging, think about it. Best solution is don’t drive, walk or ride a bike.

    • Yeah, don’t live. Start by being an example. Dig your own hole and cover yourself, at least you’ll become fertilizer.

      • What is this? A school for ants?

  • Zach, I really enjoy your articles and often refer to them when proselytizing for renewable energy. It would be really useful if you were to create a part of the web site that would just be a compendium of all the Cleantechnica articles and perhaps even sortable by subject and also date. Users could then look up articles easily for review.

  • I work for LG Chem and i think there is some misunderstanding about production capacity that needs correction. It’s enough capacity to supply batteries for 400,000 electric vehicles, and not producing just 400,000 battery cells per year.
    (FYI, usual automotive battery cells have capacity of 30~100Ah depends on the manufacturer. Even we assume 100Ah, 400,000 battery cells are just 148MWh. (100Ah X 3.7V X 400,000)

    With a little exaggeration I could produce 148MWh by hand with a few hundred workers.

    • Batteries is a problematic word. It is used for both battery cells and battery packs.

      My understanding is that LG Chem is building more than one new factory and when they are complete LG will have the capacity to produce enough cells for about 450,000 battery packs (450,000 EVs), Rather than going the very large Gigafactory route of Panasonic/Tesla LG will have multiple smaller plants scattered around the world.

      Of course both companies are likely only starting. Tesla announced tentative plans for their second Gigafactory a few days ago. Possibly located in South Africa.

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