S.Korea’s LG Energy Solution plans U.S. battery JV with Honda -report

Written by on January 13, 2022

January 14, 2022

SEOUL (Reuters) -South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solution (LGES) plans to build a battery joint venture (JV) with Japan’s Honda Motor Co Ltd in the United States, South Korea’s Maeil Business Newspaper said on Friday, citing an unnamed industry source.

The potential battery JV between LGES and Honda could cost as much as 4 trillion won ($3.4 billion) and have an annual production capacity of up to 40 gigawatt hours (GWh) of batteries, enough to power 600,000 electric vehicles (EVs), the newspaper reported. The report did not have details, such as the timeline of when the JV would be built and begin operations.

LGES, LG Chem Ltd’s battery subsidiary, commands more than 20% of the global EV battery market and supplies Tesla Inc, General Motors Co and Volkswagen AG among others.

“We are discussing various ways to cooperate with automakers, including establishing joint ventures, but nothing has been decided,” LGES said in a statement.

A Honda USA spokeswoman declined to comment on the story.

Honda and its alliance partner GM plan to introduce two jointly developed large-sized EV models in North America, using GM’s Ultium batteries, in 2024. GM will make Ultium batteries under a JV with LG.

Honda Motor’s chief executive, Toshihiro Mibe, said last year the Japanese automaker was willing to form new alliances to make electrification profitable.

LGES, which has battery production sites in the United States, China, South Korea, Poland and Indonesia, plans to invest a total of 5.6 trillion won in North America by 2024 to secure production capacity of over 160 GWh by 2025 in the region, according to a company filing.

That includes two new U.S. plants jointly built with GM in Ohio and Tennessee as well as a battery joint venture with Stellantis NV.

($1 = 1,186.11 won)

(Reporting by Heekyong Yang and Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco; Editing by Karishma Singh and Christopher Cushing)


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