LG Chem Becomes World’s Biggest Battery Supplier


Buried in a press release announcing that LG Chem will be the battery supplier for the next-generation Smart Fortwo electric car is this statement:

“According to ‘Most Valuable Automobile Brands 2014’ released by Brand Finance, a brand valuation and strategy consultancy, the top 20 brands are Volkswagen, Ford, Hyundai, Renault, Audi, Chevrolet, Kia, Daimler and GM. All of these automakers use LG Chem’s batteries for EV application. 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.”

World’s biggest intends to become even bigger in the future.  That will be especially true when the LG Chem powered Chevrolet Bolt launches:

“LG Chems’s battery improvements to make it possible to for GM to create the low-cost EV include better durability and electrical controls. Also, LG will use more of the available storage capacity in the cell than it does on the Volt.”

“We have progressed far enough that it gives us a high level of confidence that in the 2017 kind of a time frame, there are no show stoppers or gotchas that we don’t know how to get over,” Prabhakar Patil, the chief executive of LG Chem Power Inc., the U.S.-based battery arm of the Korean electronics giant, said in an interview.”

As an automaker these day, if you’re name is not Tesla or BMW, then it’s likely your signing a contract with LG Chem to supply batteries to power your electric.

LG Chem Has Grand Battery Plans

LG Chem Has Grand Battery Plans

Categories: Battery Tech, General

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18 Comments on "LG Chem Becomes World’s Biggest Battery Supplier"

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Here come the exclusively-Tesla fans trying to explain why this is impossible or somehow irrelevant because Gigafactory….

Please try to keep up.

The Gigafactory first phase is targeting 7 GWh of production, or more than the combined amount of automotive batteries sold by Panasonic, AESC, and LG in 2014 put together.

LG Chem has to grow their production by 8x to meet that level. They are expanding their Compact Power venture in MI to full capacity, but that will pale in comparison to the Tesla Gigafactory. LG/GM/CP received $150 million in grants and another $52.5 million in property tax breaks in subsidies for that plant. That means they can’t ship BEVs at 100,000’s of vehicle level without significant expansion. We have not yet seen that level of expansion coming from LG.

Further, the cells make by Panasonic to Tesla’s spec have the highest specific energy (Wh/kg) of any automotive cell going into mass produced cars. It is likely that the current Model S cell beats the specific energy at the cell level of the batteries coming from LG in 2016/2017 already. That gives Tesla a technological lead and with coming battery chemistry advancements, Tesla will remain clearly ahead.

An argument based on the premise that because we have not seen major new investment by LG Chem in the US, that they couldn’t possibly make that investment in the US or elsewhere. Although, I appreciate that you’ve quoted the 7 GWh figure related to the 20% pilot plant that is often omitted.

I agree with the point below that LG Chem is using the term “biggest” rather loosely since they seem to mean “most customers.” The biggest supplier is the one with the most production, which is clearly Panasonic.

Define biggest. Last year, Panasonic shipped 2.7 GWh in automotive batteries thanks mostly to Tesla. LG shipped 0.89 GWh. Even AESC (Nissan/NEC) shipped more than LG at 1.6 GWh.

I think the definition of “biggest” here is number of auto manufacturers using them, no matter the quantity they actually put in cars (even if that number is zero).

Yes, LG Chem is achieving victory by redefining it. 😉

GO TESLA! Well, actually… GO PANASONIC!


I trust GTM a little more than a buried statement in LG PR. Plus the numbers don’t work. Tesla packs are just too huge. http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/lg-chem-is-not-the-largest-auto-battery-supplier-in-the-world

Tesla does also make stationary battery systems. So you can not count the entire Tesla battery capacity to be auto batteries.

Who does deliver Li-ion batteries to Mitsubishi ?? will Nissan rely only on LG Chem in the future for next (2017) Leaf ?? If replies to both question is LG Chem then it would be very unlikely for LG Chem not to become nr 1 in Gwh delivered in the near future taking into account the other brands they are provider for (GM, Volvo, VW, Daimler).

Mitsu gets it batteries from GS Yuasa as far as I know.

I really think LG Chem could ramp up production far faster then Tesla if they want to. In that right now they are hiring hundreds of people to example production at their Michigan Plant. They might even start building another wing on to the fact in the next year or two if these new contracts they talk about getting work out in the kind of demand that they could produce.

Any number of companies -could- ramp up kWh (or GWh) production of EV batteries faster than Tesla plans to — but only if they were willing to invest the money.

Is anybody investing the more-than-$2-billion which Tesla is investing in the Gigafactory, between now and 2020? Heck no. I think all the others put together, including LG Chem, have by now announced plans which barely exceed Tesla’s planned investment.

“Follow the money”, they say. If we follow the money, then Tesla, Panasonic (Tesla’s battery supplier), and the Gigafactory are the biggest players, by a very wide margin.

This is confirmation to me that Nissan will continue to use its own batteries in Leaf 2.

As I understand it, Nissan has already contracted with LG Chem to supply batteries for the Leaf 2.0. In fact, there was recently a rather fierce debate among Nissan executives over whether or not to shut down their own battery factories entirely.

Seems like short-term thinking to me. There was a very good reason Nissan built its own battery factories: To ensure supply of battery cells. Prior to Nissan building battery factories in Tennessee and the UK, the Leaf was production constrained because of a battery bottleneck. Seems like Nissan has forgotten that lesson with astonishing speed, because it’s now putting itself in the position of its Leaf production being dependent on a single outside battery supplier, one which will be supplying multiple EV makers.

No – there was never any contract signed that we know of. There was some leaked information that in a month supplier review would be held – but after that no news of any kind I know of has come out.

I’m sure LG would have held a big conference to announce any contracts with the largest BEV manufacturer in the world.

The total supply of batteries is still to low for the EV revolution many want. So if all battery manufacturers want to compete to pump out the most kilowatt hours, all EVs win.

At least this mantain alive the flame of competition, this will be good in any way to the EV battery evolution