Top EV battery maker LG Chem in JV talks with automakers: CEO

The logo of LG Chem is seen at its office building in Seoul
The logo of LG Chem is seen at its office building in Seoul, South Korea, October 16, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

October 16, 2020

By Hyunjoo Jin and Heekyong Yang

SEOUL (Reuters) – LG Chem, the world’s top electric vehicle (EV) battery maker, is in talks with a “couple” of automakers to create joint ventures to produce automotive batteries, Chief Executive Officer Hak Cheol Shin told Reuters on Friday.

LG Chem is already moving ahead with battery joint ventures with GM and Geely and hopes to expand to other carmakers, Shin said, without elaborating.

“Our joint ventures with Geely and GM have been already announced, and we have ongoing discussions with a couple of other automakers,” he said.

The South Korean company currently supplies batteries from its Nanjing, China, factory for Model 3 vehicles built at Tesla’s Shanghai plant.

“We have started supplying to Tesla in earnest, and this is the beginning of a good partnership and we hope to expand the partnership,” he said.

“We are in talks to expand cooperation with almost all automakers, and Tesla is one of them,” he said.

However, Shin added that Tesla is not one of the companies LG Chem is discussing joint ventures with.

LG Chem, which has a factory in Poland, is also searching for a site for a new battery factory in Europe, he said.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin and Heekyong Yang; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)