LG Energy Solution has revealed a 730 billion won (US$567 million) plan to expand the production of batteries for electric vehicles, including the next-generation 4680-type cylindrical batteries, which are bigger than the conventional ones.
In order to supply to carmakers like US giant Tesla, the company will pour in 581.8 billion won from June until October 2023 by adding a 9 gigawatt-hour production line to its plant in Ochang, some 100 kilometers south of Seoul.
The new line will manufacture cylindrical batteries that are 46 millimetres in diameter and 80 millimeters in length from the second half of 2023, according to the company.
The remaining 150 billion won will be spent to manufacture the conventional 2170-type cylindrical batteries in Ochang.
The plant will have an additional 4 gigawatt-hour capacity.
This is the first time LG Energy Solution, South Korea’s largest battery maker by production capacity, confirmed its mass production plan for the battery cells believed to be larger and more energy-efficient than the existing cylindrical batteries.
Tesla is looking to power its upcoming Model Y electric cars using the 4680 battery.
The news comes months after LG’s Japanese rival Panasonic earlier this year announced plans to mass-produce 4680 batteries from April 2023.
The Ochang plant should have a combined 35 gigawatt-hour battery production capacity by 2025.
LG Energy Solution aims to secure a 200 gigawatt-hour production capacity in North America, Europe and Asia combined by the end of 2022 and 520 gigawatt-hour capacity by 2025, its first-quarter earnings call showed.