Volvo To Team Up With LG Electronics To Develop EVs And Self-Driving Cars

DEC 12 2016 BY MARK KANE 29

According to media reports, Volvo has forged a deal with LG Electronics to jointly develop new cars, with a focus not only on electric drive, but also autonomous technology.

Volvo Concept 40.2 front quarter low

Volvo Concept 40.2 front quarter low

LG Chem is already supplying batteries to Volvo, so the Korean company could become a ‘one stop shop’ for the company in the future, much like in case of GM’s Chevrolet Bolt EV.

“Volvo is most likely to establish a strategic partnership with LG Electronics to co-develop key technologies from an early stage rather than simply receive related components from the Korean tech giant.”

The first long-range all-electric Volvo is scheduled for production around 2019, with range is expected at least 500 km/310 miles (NEDC – which means about 375km/225 of real world range in all likelihood).

source: Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea

Categories: Volvo

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29 Comments on "Volvo To Team Up With LG Electronics To Develop EVs And Self-Driving Cars"

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I believe the Pacifica Hybrid (and EV maybe?) will be using LG batteries as well.

If the Bolt is successful and other brands start making similar contracts with LG, then I hope they are planning early for another expansion at their Michigan plant. 😀

The Bolt’s battery/pack is made in S. Korea. But I agree if the Bolt is selling 30k+/year it might make more since to build locally.

I sure hope there’s a lot more manufacturing expansion of batteries stateside, auto or otherwise.

I find it astonishing that LG Chem does not seem to be rapidly expanding their production of li-ion batteries, given their rapidly growing list of customers.

Regarding expanding production, LG is talking the talk, but at last count (see link below), they were not walking the walk. Very troubling, and hopefully that situation has recently changed rather sharply, or will very soon.

PP wrote:”I find it astonishing that LG Chem does not seem to be rapidly expanding their production of li-ion batteries, given their rapidly growing list of customers.”

Ok, do you think a company with multi-billion revenue in $ per year just signs contracts for fun and has no corporate/strategic planning?

PP, I must say you are a funny guy.

It’s understandable since PP only has 9 letters on his keyboard.

LG Chem was making claims, a year or two ago, that they were gonna ramp up to more GWh of production even faster than Panasonic and Tesla, even including the Gigafactory.

The reality seems to be that they’re not increasing output much at all, or at least did not over the first half of this year. And all I see from those disputing this is more articles which only report LG’s inflated claims… not any reports of sharp increases in actual production or sales of batteries.

None of this, of course, proves that I’m right. But y’all really need to up your game if you want to refute what I’m saying. Repeating unproven claims doesn’t make them any more real than they were the first time.

Definitely a good point. Although correct me if I’m wrong, but the Volt first started with the batteries being made in S Korea also. After 2 years or so they switched to Michigan. Spark EV batteries were made in Michigan.

So hopefully this will happen with the Bolt even if they start off in South Korea. 🙂

If I understand correctly what Jay Cole has said on this subject, batteries made in S. Korea are (or at least recently were) cheaper on the international market because of the current (pun intended) currency exchange rate. That is, that LG was able to offer GM the astonishingly low price of $145/kWh partly because the American dollar is currently high, and the S. Korean currency isn’t.

Jay also suggested — again, if I recall correctly, and if not I hope he’ll post a correction — that LG had unused factory capacity in countries where the exchange rate wasn’t as favorable.

Assuming all that is true, my question is this: Will LG be able to take advantage of that unused capacity, or will it have to expand production in those countries where the currency exchange rate is currently favorable?

This definitely seems like a reasonable possibility. The US dollar has been quite strong over the past few years.

If there is unused excess capacity at their other plants, they’re clearly planning for the future. That should give them flexibility to shift production as the political/financial winds blow. Or expand production globally as soon as demand calls for it. Better than maxing out production at one facility and being supply constrained before looking into expansion I would think heh.

The USD doesn’t seem to be crazy-strong vs. the South Korean Won right now. I’m thinking the production in Korea had to do more with the deal GM got on pricing. LG probably gave them that price if the work was guaranteed for the Korean workers. Maybe it will change after a year, or a certain level of capacity.

WadeTyhon said:

“If there is unused excess capacity at their other [LG Chem] plants, they’re clearly planning for the future.”

Hmmm, I don’t think so. If my understanding is correct, the unused capacity would be leftover from the period just 2-3 years ago when there was a glut on the market; when Envia went bankrupt and A123 nearly did so. If so, then that’s not at all a result of good future planning; it’s a result of bad market reading. But in LG’s defense, a lot of other battery makers made the same mistake.

Lol maybe that is the case. Although planning poorly for the future is still planning for the future. 😉

LG Chem might have jumped the gun a bit. That would be a good explanation for why they are not producing batteries at the breakneck pace you would prefer. But the direction of the industry is clear and I would think they plan to capitalize on it when the time comes.

In LG’s defense, I believe they were expecting to produce more batteries for the Volt than what they ultimately produced back in those years. LG shouldn’t be held liable for that, their batteries are working very well in the Volt, they lived up to their end.

“a grand total of zero Volt packs have been replaced because of “general capacity degradation”…”

I thought the main reason for initially using LG Chem’s South Korea factories is that is where the new battery chemistry is first being rolled out. Then the other factory locations will follow.

Hmmm, Wikipedia says LG Chem is headquartered in S. Korea.

But we could both be right. Perhaps S. Korea is where LG’s costs are lowest, which perhaps enabled them to give GM an exceptionally low, low per-kWh price for their battery cells.

So are a lot of you guys going to call whatever Volvo and LG come up with the LG “insert model here” like you do with the “LG Bolt”??

That’s a great idea

It should be called Volvo-LG if the motors come from LG also.
Just like I call my (company provided) Mercedes C200d a “MercedesRenault”.

We could do that for every part supplier, but the names of the cars would be over 1000 characters long.

Seriously right. I hope all those Tesla fanboys enjoy their Panasonic Model S/X 🙂

Seriously though, who cares, automakers get parts from all over the place.

What… Volvo? Seriously?

Volvo is one of the legacy auto makers I had written off as hopelessly outdated, with no real plans to compete in the accelerating EV revolution.

Well, good luck to Volvo! I hope, for the sake of all those Volvo employs, that they haven’t waited too long to jump into the new tech.

Didn’t Volvo use drive px 2 before Tesla?

The phrase “drive px 2” is opaque to me, sorry.

I do see that Volvo offers the XC90 T8 Plug-in Hybrid, but at only 14 miles of electric range and only 87 HP, rather puny for the electric motor in what is touted as an SUV, this is a entry so weak that I would call it embarrassing. Even mediocre PHEVs have an electric range of about 22-25 miles; only 14 miles is near the bottom of the barrel.

Perhaps Volvo offers something better in the way of EVs, something I’m missing?

No BEV from Volvo yet although they launched the V60 PHEV back in 2012 I think. Better range than the heavy SUV at least.

Volvo is not outdated and with EV plans made long before most other car companies. They currently have a higher plugin sales percentage than almost any car company.

They are moving their vehicles to their SPA-platform and CMA-platform which are prepared for electrification.
Today “only” 14% of their models can come with a plug. That number should be over 50% next year. And completed in 2018.

Those platforms are modular so they can have any combination of engine combined with a battery and a motor for their PHEVs.

So they could go from their current levels of three times the global average of plugins to basically 100% by just adding batteries.

So there is no need to worry about Volvo just because their work doesn’t show on your market yet.

I read that they have 2 BEVs planned coming within the next two years also.

Although I’m not sure if these are coming to the US. We only have one of their PHEVs here as far as I know. Hopefully Europe doesn’t get to keep them all to themselves lol.