LG Chem To Hire 40 New Employees In Preparation For Next-Gen Chevy Volt – Video Report

SEP 24 2014 BY JAY COLE 22

LG Chem has certainly been in the news a lot recently, as it seems like the South Korean battery maker will shortly supply lithium cells for just about every plug-in vehicle maker not named Tesla these days.

LG Chem Facility In Holland, Michigan, Gets A Little Busier

LG Chem Facility In Holland, Michigan, Gets A Little Busier

General Motors is also part of that LG Chem new world order.

WZZM13 files a report from LG’s Holland facility that says LG Chem is now looking for an additional 40 workers (via a recent job fair last Thursday) to help supply packs for Chevrolet’s upcoming 2nd generation Volt – a car that is said to have a larger capacity battery option when it launches next summer.

Before this past week’s announced the plant had employed some 200 employees over the past 3 years in what could only be called an “on and off’ status, as some furloughs last year (along with misappropriation of government funds) made headlines.

“I don’t have the crystal ball for sure, but I would say that if they are considering adding 25% to their workforce — that’s a pretty good statement they are having good success,” says Tim Vagle, finance director for the city of Holland, to ABC 13.

In a company press release, LG Chem said they were looking to hire 40 high-tech positions in response to company growth – anything from maintenance workers to engineers.  Later nn LG Chem rep said the new hires were specifically needed to prepare for the next Volt.



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22 Comments on "LG Chem To Hire 40 New Employees In Preparation For Next-Gen Chevy Volt – Video Report"

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A 25% increase in the workforce doesn’t sound good to me. Jay points out the the utilization level of the current staff was low, so maybe it is better than it sounds.

I was hoping that the Gen II Volt would double or triple demand. Combined with an expected larger battery, should mean at least a doubling of the battery supply force.

LG Chem is also busy providing batteries to utilities for grid storage. Southern California Edison just opened the largest battery energy storage project in North America, a 32 MWh battery energy storage system featuring lithium-ion batteries from LG Chem.


It sounds big, but 32MWh is equivalent to 1,871 Chevy Volt 17.1kWh packs. GM sold more Volts than that in August 2014. So its sounds big, but I think the overall impact on the output of the Michigan plant is low.

That is pretty darn big for a storage system. But I guess it is grid-level storage designed to help with the 5pm to 8pm peak deman.

Might be storage for a localize “Microgrid”. 32,000 kwh isn’t that much as some of Al Gore’s houses use that much in a month. But then he sells himself carbon credits so don’t worry, he’s therefore ‘carbon neutral’.

He also has solar PV. He can’t ever win with critics . . . if he used very little power you’d say “He wants us all to live in hobbit homes” and if he uses a lot of power (with PV panels & credits) then you say “Al Gore uses massive amount of power!”

I don’t get it.

If LG is supplying so many batteries why isn’t Holland humming?

Are they still shipping them all from Korea??

The batteries used for grid storage may be very different to those for cars, as weight doesn’t matter, but cycle life and cost is all important.

I would imagine that LG Chem’s agreement with GM is strictly about batteries for GM cars.

However, apparently:

‘The battery system supplied by LG Chem comprises 604 battery racks, 10,872 battery modules and 608,832 individual battery cells—the same lithium-ion cells installed in battery packs for General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt.’


OTOH that may be a journalist’s supposition.

Besides a plant in S.Korea: LG signed MOU to build another plant in China in July 2014. LG expects $1B (US) in revenue from the joint venture over next 5 years, through 2020.


Supposedly the car makers not interested in furthering links to LG Chem include not just Tesla, but Nissan and Renault: ‘ “The Renault-Nissan Alliance remains 100 percent committed to its industry-leading EV program,” spokesman Travis Parman said in a statement. “This global commitment continues for the foreseeable future, and we have not taken any decision whatsoever to modify battery sourcing allocation.” Parman said Nissan has no plans to “impair” its battery investments in the United States or Britain. His comments came after media reports suggested that the Renault-Nissan alliance was re-evaluating its battery strategy. The proposal under consideration includes curtailing production at Nissan-operated battery plants in England and the United States in order to instead purchase electric vehicle batteries from the Korean company LG Chem.’ http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-09-20/news/54135504_1_nissan-leaf-battery-plant-lg-chem= To me that may be rather less definite than it appears, as ‘plans’ may not include ‘discussions’ and in any case the wording does not rule out LG Chem providing the batteries in the present Nissan/Renault facilities. What we can definitely say is that at least some of the folk in Nissan/Renault are downplaying it. It would not be the first time company spokespeople were less than fully frank, or were not in the… Read more »

Nissan has been careful in saying “we have not taken any decision” – doesn’t mean they are not considering it. Infact Ghosn has said they need to open up to competition for sourcing batteries.

That’s great as long as replacement pack that are backward computable with the existing Leafs are still available.

“Supposedly the car makers not interested in furthering links to LG Chem include not just Tesla, but Nissan and Renault”

Renault? Renault’s Zoe and Twizy both use batteries packs supplied by LG Chem. Also, Renault recently signed a memorandum of understanding with LG Chem to jointly develop next generation lithium-ion batteries for electric cars with a goal of 250 miles of range.

Under the Renault Nissan alliance the two companies remain separate independent companies that are run by the same CEO.



That is why I phrased it ‘furthering links’ as there is an existing relationship between Renault and LG Chem.

The reason I did not exclude Renault altogether is that the press release specifically said Renault/Nissan as the parties.

I’m not saying that I believe them anyway, just giving what the presser said.

When history is written about how EVs and PHEVs took over the Vehicle market the answer will be “First slowly than all at once”

Electric Car Guest Drive


Hopefully this means that LG & GM believe they have a hit on their hands with the next Volt(s).

I don’t think so.

GW said only recently that they did not intend to even market the Volt II nationwide.

My guess is that this is to get ready for GM’s 200 mile AER BEV! 🙂

I think they’ll still have the Volt II nationwide . . . they’ll just focus on the coasts because that is where it has sold the best. The coasts tend to have higher gas prices and more incentives.

But I hope you are right on the 200 mile EV coming soon. I’m quite interested to see what GM comes up with. I’m looking forward to getting a longer range EV. The ~80 mile range EVs are great for commuting . . . but now I want more.

It’s hard for me to make a judgement about this without knowing how many workers they had already and how busy those workers were. Still, any amount of new workers sounds better than workers getting laid off. So I’ll take it.

Isn’t Nissan also considering LG Chem batteries?

LG still only produced about 800,000kWh of EV batteries last year compared to 3,500,000kWh produced by Panasonic and Panasonic can’t even keep up with Tesla’s Model S demand. Tesla’s Gigafactory will produce 35,000,000kWh of battery cells. Where does that leave LG? I believe that leaves GM quite a bit short of supply for a 200mi EV… maybe in fairyland.