LG Chem has announced that it will be ramping up lithium-ion battery production at its facility in Michigan, according to recent reports. The move follows closely on an announcement that GM will be expanding its business partnership with LG Chem in anticipation of Chevy Bolt production beginning next year.
Nick Kassanos of LG Chem commented that change in the industry is happening right now, rather than simply being something off in the future.
“The conversation about lithium-ion battery manufacturing in North America isn’t about what’s going to happen in the future, it’s about what’s happening today. High quality, affordable electric vehicles are today’s story and we are very excited to be a part of it.”
Electrek provides some more information:
LG has been producing batteries in North America to supply the Chevy Volt for almost 2 years now, while Tesla is getting all the attention for the Gigafactory, which should start production in the spring. But Tesla is getting all the attention for the planned size and volume of production of the facility rather than its timeline.
LG says that its workforce at the Holland plant doubled to now 300 employees. Tesla plans to employ 6,500 at the Gigafactory and recently hired “several hundred” workers in just one day.
Tesla plans to have 35 GWh (gigawatt-hours) of cell production capacity at Gigafactory at full volume around 2020, while LG is estimated to be able to produce around 1.5 GWh of batteries when the Chevy Bolt is expected to come out in late 2016. GM says that LG produced more than 23 million cells for the Chevy Volt and they are seeing less than two problems per million cells produced.
Interesting news, though expected. All signs seem to be pointing towards a late 2016 launch of the Chevy Bolt. Which should make for an extremely interesting event (for those of us interested in electric vehicles anyways.