LG Chem to Supply Next-Generation Cylindrical Batteries to Lucid Motors of the US
LG Chem to Supply Next-Generation Cylindrical Batteries to Lucid Motors of the US<br />

LG Chem to Supply Next-Generation Cylindrical Batteries to Lucid Motors of the US

■ Supply cylindrical batteries for EVs from the second half of this year until 2023

- Exclusive supplier for its first mass-production vehicle ‘Lucid Air’ standard model

- Discussing supply of batteries to its high-end Special Model

■ Recognized for next-generation cylindrical battery technologies and mass production capacities

- Recognized for the battery technology of ‘21700’ that increased capacity by 50% compared to existing products

- Also includes ‘NCM811’ technologies that maximized energy density

- Also recognized for experience with mass production of cylindrical batteries for over 20 years

■ Strengthening EV portfolio together with its existing pouch batteries

- Pouch battery order balance of 150 trillion KRW and another large order for cylindrical batteries

■ CEO Kim Jong-hyeon and head of the Energy Solution Company ,

“We will aggressively pioneer the EV cylindrical battery market that is growing rapidly to become the undisputed global top in the EV battery sector”

LG Chem has teamed up with ‘Lucid Motors’ that is receiving attention as a luxury EV company.

LG Chem announced on the 26th that it will be the exclusive supplier of next-generation cylindrical batteries from the second half of this year until 2023 for the standard model for the luxury EV ‘Lucid Air’ of Lucid Motors of the US. They did not disclose details on the amount of supply and prices due to their contract.

Lucid Motors attracted investments of 1 billion USD (app. 1.15 trillion KRW) from the national fund of Saudi Arabia in 2018, thereby drawing huge global attention as a new EV company. It is scheduled to release its first mass-production model, the ‘Lucid Air’ from the second half of this year.

Lucid Air can reach zero to 100km/h in just 2.5 seconds, and it is a luxury electric sedan with a driving distance of 643km when fully charged.

LG Chem signed a deal to exclusively supply cylindrical batteries to the standard model of Lucid Air, and it has been reported that talks are underway for supplying batteries to its Special Model slated for release later.

Supply of the next-generation cylindrical battery ‘21700’

The battery that LG Chem will supply to Lucid Motors is the ‘21700’ that is also called the next-generation cylindrical battery.

The cylindrical ‘21700’ battery has an exterior size of diameter 21mm and height of 70mm and it has increased capacity by 50% compared to the older cylindrical ‘18650’ battery (diameter 18mm, height 65mm), while also improving performance. Through the commercialization of the ‘21700’, it has become possible to build batteries of desired capacities by connecting fewer batteries than the ‘18650’.

Lucid Motors EVs applied the method of using thousands of small cylindrical batteries, and therefore, safety improves when there are fewer batteries as it makes maintenance easier. EV makers that employ cylindrical batteries are searching for companies that can provide stable and continuous supplies of cylindrical ‘21700’ batteries.

LG Chem was the first in Korea to commercialize cylindrical batteries in 1998 and it built a mass production system for this. In 2002, it released the world’s first high capacity 2200mAh battery for laptop computers. Through its long knowhow and mass production experiences, it successfully developed the highest performance cylindrical ‘21700’ battery and mass production system, and was thus selected by Lucid Motors.

LG Chem Energy Solution Company head and CEO Kim Jong-hyeon said, “By supplying cylindrical batteries to Lucid Motors, we were able to strengthen our EV battery business portfolio by adding to our pouch batteries.”

He added, “We will aggressively pioneer the EV cylindrical battery market that is growing rapidly to become the undisputed global top in the EV battery sector.”

Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson said, “The collaboration with LG Chem is the best plan for Lucid Motors to produce EVs efficiently.”

He added, “Through this, we have become enabled to guarantee the best EV performance to our customers.”

From pouch to cylindrical… Strengthening EV battery portfolio

In addition to pouch types, LG Chem is gaining momentum to pioneer the cylindrical battery market as well.

LG Chem noticed the potentials of EVs with cylindrical batteries from early on and has been taking the initiative to develop high-performance cylindrical batteries such as supplying the ‘NCM811’ cylindrical battery in electric buses in 2018. It will now supply cylindrical batteries that apply the ‘NCM811’ technologies to Lucid Motors as well.

‘NCM811’ refers to batteries with the positive and negative charges, which are the core materials of batteries, being made up of 80% nickel, 10% cobalt, and 10% manganese. By increasing nickel content, it is possible to maximize energy density of batteries. However, nickel has high heat, thus having safety issues, and thus requires extremely advanced technological levels.

At its 2019 performance presentation held on the 3rd, LG Chem announced, “The growth of EVs and *LEVs that utilize cylindrical batteries will be high” and added, “We will focus on the EV and LEV market in the future and concentrate new investments in this area.” It thus stated its intent to pioneer the cylindrical battery market in earnest as well.

*LEV: Abbreviation of Light Electric Vehicle and is a term to collectively refer to electric bicycles, electric scooters, etc.

Through the supply contract with Lucid Motors, LG Chem has now procured a business portfolio for the entire EV market is separated into the large pouch and small cylindrical battery markets.

In the large pouch battery section, it has been supplying batteries to a total of 13 out of the top 20 global car makers including Volkswagen, Renault, Volvo, GM and Hyundai. It has already procured a huge order worth approximately 150 trillion KRW by recently announcing to establish a large-scale joint venture for EV batteries with GM.

It also won large supply contracts in the cylindrical battery EV sector that has been led by the likes of Lucid Motors, and therefore, it has been assessed that LG Chem has constructed an omnidirectional supply system for all EV batteries regardless of battery types.

Meanwhile, according to the market survey firm SNE Research, it is expected that the cylindrical EV battery market will grow from 76.4GWh this year to 150GWh by 2023 and 227.9GWh by 2025 at an annual growth rate of 25%.

Reference: Cylindrical EV battery market forecast (SNE Research)