The Michigan branch of LG Energy Solution has confirmed a $1.36 billion investment into an electric vehicle battery production facility in North America by 2024, according to Korean regulatory filings released on Monday.
The $1.36 billion in funding will be used to expand its solely owned annual production capacity in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Its current capacity is 5 gigawatt-hours, according to company spokeswoman Ashlee Semin Shin, who confirmed the capacity to Detroit News. It is unclear where the investment will land, and it’s not 100% that Michigan will see any of the money, although it does have a plant in Holland, Michigan.
LG has joint ventures with GM and Jeep and Ram parent company Stellantis.
Detroit would likely be an ideal place for LG Energy Solution to expand its North American battery capacity for electric vehicles specifically. As legacy automakers continue to expand their electrification efforts, Detroit, being the center of the U.S. automotive industry for the past century, is being transitioned into a world of EV development and potential. While the companies stationed in this area are generally slow to adapt to change, especially when it comes to ditching the ICE engines they have built for decades and made trillions off of, the effort is there.
The United States automotive industry is changing slowly. Recent estimates have capped the U.S. EV market at 2.4% at the end of 2020, which was a nearly 25% increase from 2019. 2021 may see even bigger strides in the number of electric cars on American roads, but the issue is that powering those electric cars requires batteries, something that even the most established companies are having trouble finding. Tesla, for example, has delayed several projects, including the Semi and next-gen Roadster program due to battery cell constraints. Tesla utilizes Panasonic, CATL, and LG Energy Solution parent company LG Chem batteries for its vehicles globally.
LG Energy Solution confirmed its IPO on the Korea Exchange in June, and said in a filing that it will raise $681 million in capital while receiving the rest of the funding in a loan (via Detroit News):
“Through the capital increase, we plan to use it as an investment fund to respond to the increase in demand for electric vehicle batteries and (energy storage systems) in the North American market. We plan to invest billions of dollars.”
Earlier this year in March, LG pledged to spend $4.5 billion by 2025 to increase battery capacity in the United States to 70 GWh, which would add 10,000 jobs.
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