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LG Chem to supply EV batteries to Daimler for new smart EV

30 March 2015

Daimler AG has selected LG Chem as the supplier of lithium-ion batteries for the smart EV that will be newly launched in 2016. Under the contract, LG Chem will provide battery cells to smart EV; Daimler will assemble the cells into the vehicle packs.

By signing a supply contract with Daimler, LG Chem has become the world’s biggest automotive battery supplier, having at least 13 global automakers among the top 20 global brands. In addition to Daimler, top automakers Volkswagen, Ford, Hyundai, Renault, Audi, Chevrolet, Kia, and GM use LG Chem batteries for EV applications.

In November 2014, Daimler announced that it would cease production of Li-ion battery cells at its Li-Tec subsidiary in December 2015. At the time, Daimler manager Harald Kröger said that “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.” (Earlier post.)

The current smart fortwo electric drive uses a 17.6 kWh Li-ion battery to power a 55 kW electric motor delivering 130 N·m of torque with a range of 145 kilometers (90 miles)

LG Chem had been invited to the Supplier Day hosted by Daimler in Stuttgart, February. LG Chem was the only lithium-ion battery maker invited to participate at the event and had the chance to discuss core strategies with numerous automotive partners of Daimler Group.

LG Chem’s will continue to lead the EV battery market with differentiated technology to make us stand up as global No. 1 battery manufacturer.

—Young Soo Kwon, President of LG Chem

The market research firm B3 recently forecast the EV battery market to grow up to US$18.24 billion by 2020.

March 30, 2015 in Batteries | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

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LG is smaller than both Tesla and Nissan for automotive batteries. Specifically for 2014 total automotive battery production was:

Panasonic Tesla: 2.7Gwh
(=35,000 Model S* 77kwh (average battery pack size)
AESC Nissan: 1.6Gwh
LG Chem: 0.9GWh
BYD: 0.5GWh
Mitsubishi: 0.5GWh

See http://ev-sales.blogspot.dk/2015/02/battery-makers-full-year-2014.html

So LGs bragging about being number one is marketing BS of the worst kind. They are in fact just 1/3 of Panasonic/Tesla when it comes to automotive battery production. The numbers given above also shows just how colossal the planned 50Gwh factory by Tesla Panasonic and other partners is going to be. At 200 USD per kWh the 50Gwh factory will make 10 billion USD worth of batteries each year.

'Biggest' is pretty much a case of picking your metric and date.

LG Chem supply more car companies than anyone else, so in that sense are biggest.

If one is talking about economies of scale as ruling, then BYD produces essentially identical batteries to the ones it puts in cars in its buses and stationary storage, so in total turns out 4GWh a year right now, ramping to 10GWh by the end of this year and 16GWh by the end of 2016 when the initial stage of the Tesla GF is due to come on line with only 7GWh.

So BYD is the biggest producer of the sort of batteries that go into cars and looks set to remain that way for a long time.

It looks as though LG Chem is edging out Samsung at Daimler, from the write up, who now own Magna-Steyr:

http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/article/9162/buying-batteries-large-scale-samsung-sdi-buys-car-battery-pack-business-unit-magna

They are the guys who supply the batteries for the S-Type PHEV, which is the start of a large number of models and who had been entrusted with upping the energy density to allow 50km on the NEDC from the present 33km:

http://www.motoring.com.au/news/prestige-and-luxury/mercedes-benz/s500/benz-s500-hybrid-plug-in-to-be-wireless-44657

I think LG chem also makes the batteries for the Volt, so 16 kWh times as many of those are produced each yer.

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