LG Chem To Become Operator Of U.S.’ First Battery Gigafactory

1 year ago by Mark Kane 22

LG Chem

LG Chem

LG Chem states low number of defects per million cells

LG Chem states low number of defects per million cells

LG Chem is doing exceptionally well these days and Automotive News expects that the battery maker’s Michigan factory could be the first U.S. lithium-ion battery factory to hit 1 GWh in annual production.

Overall, battery production from LG Chem currently comes from three factories.

LG Chem wasn’t the largest lithium-ion battery supplier to carmakers, but it does have the largest number of carmakers as customers and notes significant increases in volume.

Demand at LG Chem’s lithium-ion cell manufacturing in Holland, Michigan is already high enough to keep two of its three production lines busy for 24 hours a day. With more 2016 Chevrolet Volts and a new “mystery” project starting in 2016, there will be even more cells needed.

With orders from other companies, LG Chem is adding a fourth production line at the site.

Navigant stated that Holland’s plant output was 650 MWh annually, which isn’t confirmed or even commented on by LG Chem. 1,000 MWh or the first 1 GWh would be within LG Chem’s reach then.

Source: Automotive News

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22 responses to "LG Chem To Become Operator Of U.S.’ First Battery Gigafactory"

  1. kubel says:

    So that’s what gigafactory means! And here I thought Musk was just using a geeky sounding word for a big factory. 🙂

    1. There’s a small battery plant in Smyrna. TN that has built over 2.4 GWh of battery capacity since beginning of 2013.

      100,000 LEAF’s * 24 kWh =
      2,400,000 kWh … 2.4 GWh to date.

      Is a Gigafactory a plant with the capacity to build a giga of something, or a plant that has built a giga of something?

      1. garrity says:

        1 GWh in annual production.

        how much it can produce each year. You need to produce at least 1 gigawatt hours of battery each year to be a gigafactory.

        1. Just_Chris says:

          so about 42k leaf’s, unless they make the batteries for the pathfinder hybrid as well.

        2. Mint says:

          I think Musk used the term because they will be putting out over 1 billion *cells* per year. The current Panasonic cells are around 12 Wh, and the gigafactory will probably make larger 20-30 Wh cells, so 35 GWh/yr is 1B+ cells/yr.

          I’m not a fan of using gigafactory for 1 GWh/yr, as it just so happened that a watt-hour isn’t that much energy. Many existing factories have outputs of 1000 tonnes/yr, i.e. 1 Gg/yr. Few produce 1B discrete finished products a year, though.

          1. SJC says:

            Watt hours is a measure of energy storage, number of cells is a metric of cells produced over an interval of time.
            Which brings up number of cells, Tesla has to produce a million cells per day, they all have to be defect free and last ten years. Quite a challenge when you want to produce 300,000 Model 3 cars with 5000 cells each.

      2. ModernMarvelFan says:

        Brian Henderson wrote:

        “There’s a small battery plant in Smyrna. TN that has built over 2.4 GWh of battery capacity since beginning of 2013.

        100,000 LEAF’s * 24 kWh =
        2,400,000 kWh … 2.4 GWh to date.”

        Nissan hasn’t sold 100K LEAF since 2013 in the US. So, your number is off signficantly.

        1. Three Electrics says:

          Nissan has sold 88,000 LEAFs in the U.S. so far, according to Wikipedia; so if they haven’t hit 100K already, they will soon.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            “Nissan has sold 88,000 LEAFs in the U.S. so far, according to Wikipedia; so if they haven’t hit 100K already, they will soon.”

            Yes, but only the LEAF from part of 2013 and later were built in the US. The 2011/2012 LEAF battery packs were all shipped to the US for assembly. Thus the lower number.

      3. Dave K. says:

        But that plant in Smyrna just assembles cells from stuff made elsewhere. What Tesla is building is many times larger, and will take in raw materials and put out finished battery packs, this has never been done before.

  2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

    It’s more about the fact that it would be very large and its output would be measured in GWh, rather than MWh. The plan for the Tesla Gigafactory is 35GWh of output. The current fraction that’s being built is about 1/5 of the site, so maybe 7GWh. As they have often pointed out, in order to have lots of plug-ins sold, battery capacity needs to made in _much_ greater quantity than it current is.

    1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      Some arithmetic to help understand the capacities needed: at 18.4kWh per battery, 1GWh/year of capacity is enough to make about 4.5k Volts per month.

      1. Mike says:

        Or about 1,100 Bolts, assuming roughly 4X battery pack

        1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

          Bolt size would be more likely 3 times the capacity.

        2. Dan says:

          That’s probably the “mystery car”

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      if Volt has 18.4kWh battery and 25K annual rate and Bolt has 55.2kWh battery (3x size) and 25k annual rate, then the total is at least

      100K x 18.4 = 1.84 GWh per year.

      This doesn’t include ELR, Spark Ev or the upcoming CT6.

  3. vdiv says:

    It feels like yesterday when we were reading that the Holland plant was idling, employees were playing cards, and the whole EV thing was a giant waste.

    It’s amazing how things change…

    1. Anthony says:

      No more sitting around watching movies!

      One of the nice things they did though was let employees spend their time volunteering, so even if they were getting paid by LG Chem their time was going to worthy causes.

    2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      That’s more because LG Chem agreed to move production from Korea to the USA, so now they have idle capacity in Korea.

      1. kdawg says:

        I’m guessing they are staying busy making cells for that side of the planet. Lots of plug-ins over there too.

    3. Nick says:

      +1

      Beware of the short sighted.

  4. JimGord says:

    Hurry up and reach exponential growth. We are running out of time!

    As for those buyers of ICE vehicles (Hummer Deja Vu)that enjoy driving their living rooms around with the: Time is up !