LG Chem has begun construction on a new lithium-ion battery production facility outside of Wrocław, Poland, home of CleanTechnica director Zach Shahan and home of the Cleantech Revolution Tour conference taking place this weekend. Once completed (by the end of 2018), the facility will represent the first mass production plant for automotive lithium-ion batteries in Europe.
Within a year of competition, the new facility is expected to be producing over 100,000 batteries a year. These batteries will all be used for “electric cars with high efficiency, which will be able to drive 320 km on a single charge.”
The new facility, which LG Chem will be investing around 1.3 billion złoty ($340 million) into, will be located in Kobierzyce near Wrocław, in Cluster LG in Biskupice Podgórne. This is part of the Tarnobrzeg Special Economic Zone, which is managed by the Industrial Development Agency SA.
Here’s more from Motoryzacja, as put through an online translation service: “It is the first mass production of lithium batteries automotive industry in Europe. The company will start fully integrated production system covering the production of all components: the electrodes to cells, modules, and complete power modules. The new plant in Poland will be part of the global production system LG Chem, based on four international locations, the largest in the industry. The production bases will create a factory: in Ochang, South Korea; Holland, United States; Nanjing, China; and in Wroclaw, Poland, with a total production capacity min. 280,000 batteries for high-performance electric cars per year.”
LG Chem, clearly, is taking the expected embrace of electric vehicles over the next decade very seriously. It’s interesting, though, to see what a different approach LG Chem is taking as compared to Tesla/Panasonic — distributed production spread around the globe versus the highly centralized and integrated approach being taken with the Tesla/Panasonic Gigafactory. That said, Tesla has plans for gigafactories in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere as well.