LGES plans 4680 series production for August

LGES plans 4680 series production for August
LGES plans 4680 series production for August

CEO Kim Dong-myeong said this to Korean media. Series production of the 4680 cells in the USA is scheduled to begin as soon as the factory under construction in Arizona is completed, which is planned for the end of 2025, according to the official announcement.

It has been known since 2022 that the plant in Ochang is to be expanded. At that time there was talk of a capacity of nine GWh/year to be built for the large-volume round cells. This number is not mentioned in the current report, but no other plans are mentioned either.

Tesla has so far been confirmed as the buyer for the 4680 cells from Energy Solutions. LGES is also considering mass production of 4680 cells at its factory in Nanjing, China, and is negotiating with other potential buyers. “We are thinking about different options,” LGES CEO Kim is quoted as saying. “We also discuss with customers other than Tesla.”

Tesla uses the 4680 cells in a US-built version of the Model Y, the Semi electric truck and the Cybertruck pickup. Just a few weeks ago, Tesla announced that it was making good progress with its own production of the 4680 cells. This means that the production ramp-up for the Cybertruck is not jeopardized by the supply of cells. As soon as LGES can supply additional cells, even more cells will be available – which could then possibly be used in other models.

Kim also told Korean journalists that he recently met with GM CEO Mary Barra when she was in South Korea. “Opportunities for strengthening cooperation” were discussed. As is well known, LGES is GM’s joint venture partner in Ultium Cells. The first joint battery factory in Ohio is already producing pouch cells. “Mass production at Plant 2 in Tennessee will begin soon,” Kim stated. A third plant is being built in Michigan and is scheduled to be operational in 2025. However, plans for a fourth joint factory in Indiana were dropped.

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LG Energy Solution is also working hard on the supply of raw materials for the planned production projects in North America. For this purpose, the Koreans have secured additional lithium from Western Australia from WesCEF. LGES is very active in North America: The company is a joint venture partner of GM in Ultium Cells and of Stellantis in NextStar Energy with a battery factory under construction in Canada, the Koreans are building a cell factory in Georgia together with Hyundai, and with Honda in Ohio and independently in Arizona.

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