LG Energy Solution aims to build new battery cells for Tesla's electric vehicles starting in 2023 and is considering potential manufacturing sites in the US and Europe. The company has already produced samples of the so-called 4680 large-format cylindrical cells, but Tesla has not yet agreed to the deal.
According to Reuters, two people familiar with the matter reported on LG Energy Solution's plans. The Korean battery maker told local reporters last week that it plans to build a plant in the US to manufacture battery cells for electric vehicles and energy storage systems. At the time of the announcement, there were no known customers for the company's products from the potential plant, but one source said the company hoped Tesla would buy the batteries.
LG Chem is reported to have already produced samples of the so-called 4680 large-format cylindrical cells. However, the company faces technological barriers and the challenge of scaling production. One of the sources said LG has never mass-produced such large-format cylindrical cells, although increasing battery capacity is the correct call. "Tesla is a major customer, and LG can take risks," another source said.
"LG plans to produce 4680 cells at its new U.S. factory. They plan to build a new 4680 cell line to supply Tesla's Giga Berlin in Europe," one of the sources said, adding Spain is one of the candidates for the European plant.
In late February, Tesmanian reported that LG Energy Solution had begun preparations to build a pilot production line for the Tesla 4680 battery back in January 2021. The company is reportedly currently upgrading part of the production line at its Ochang plant, where the assembly and electroplating equipment has already been installed. Several sources said LG's goal is to complete an experimental production line before Panasonic begins mass production of 4680 batteries.
LG has yet to receive orders from Tesla for 4680 cells, which are still in development. At the same time, Tesla is currently dramatically increasing orders for 2170 cells used in Model 3 and Model Y vehicles made in China, the source said.
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