LG Chem May Be Opening a Lithium Battery Plant in Poland

LG Chem’s drive to become the world’s largest supplier of batteries for plug-in electrified vehicles may be supported by a new factory in Poland.

The South Korea-based company is looking into opening a lithium battery plant in Poland to meet rising demand from European automakers, according a person familiar with the matter. If it gets the green light, the battery plant will be completed in about a year and a half.

The lithium-ion batteries would be manufactured at LG Chem facilities in Wroclaw, a city in southwestern Poland, the source said. It would have capacity to produce 229,000 EV batteries a year, making it LG Chem’s second largest EV battery factory after China. LG Chem also has battery plants in South Korea and the U.S.

A report by Reuters did not specify proposed capacity for the Poland plant in kilowatt-hours however, and this equating it to “229,000” EVs is unclear as to whether that means EVs with 24-30-kWh batteries like in the Nissan Leaf, or 60-kWh batteries like in the Chevy Bolt.

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LG Chem is competing with Samsung SDI and other companies to surpass Panasonic as the world largest EV battery supplier, according the Lux Research. Samsung SDI, which has BMW as one of its customers, is also considering building an EV battery factory in Europe, a Samsung SDI spokesman said.

LG Chem has been supplying batteries to General Motors for the upcoming Bolt. Its EV battery clientele also includes Renault, Volkswagen, Audi and Volvo in Europe, which are all part of 25 automakers globally.

LG Chem and other battery makers will be supplying automakers as they strive to meet tightening European Union regulatory pressure. Having more EVs on its roads is part of the EU’s strategy of hitting emissions reduction targets.