As the electric vehicle sector grows, the demand for batteries is poised to see a significant increase. This is a big opportunity for companies like LG Chem, which supplies batteries for several EV makers like Tesla. Amidst this surging demand, LG Chem revealed on Wednesday that it is planning on tripling its production capacity for cylindrical batteries, the type used by the Silicon Valley-based electric car maker.
LG Chem currently forecasts a further rise in its battery sales and profits this fourth quarter. This is rather optimistic of the South Korean company considering that the company has already posted record quarterly earnings thanks to its growing EV battery business. “Sales are continuously expected to grow thanks to greater shipments of automotive batteries and cylindrical batteries for EVs,” LG Chem noted.
The South Korean firm did not provide a timeframe for its plans to triple its cylindrical cell production capabilities. That being said, LG Chem did reveal something interesting: it is developing a “new form factor” cylindrical cell that is far above the batteries it currently produces. The firm did not provide details about its new form factor cylindrical cells, though it did mention that the batteries will boast 5x the energy density and 6x the power.
These specs immediately caught the attention of the electric vehicle community. Tesla’s tabless 4680 batteries that were announced on Battery Day, after all, feature identical numbers to LG Chem’s new batteries. During the Battery Day event, CEO Elon Musk and Vice President of Technology Drew Baglino remarked that Tesla’s tabless 4680 cells would enable a range increase of 16% for the company’s vehicles.
Considering the notable similarities between Tesla’s tabless 4680 cells and LG Chem’s upcoming cylindrical batteries, speculations have emerged suggesting that the electric vehicle maker may have contributed somewhat to the development of the South Korean giant’s battery initiatives. Tesla, after all, has maintained the notion that it is open to sharing its technologies for the sake of accelerating the advent of sustainable energy. Helping a battery partner develop better cells would then be a good way for Tesla to walk the walk.
Tesla’s 4680 tabless cells are a key part of the electric car maker’s plans to reach terawatt-hour levels of battery production. This, as noted by the company, will result in several notable benefits, including lower production costs, higher energy density, and better manufacturing efficiency. This all contributes to Tesla’s batteries decreasing in their kilowatt-per-hour costs, allowing the company’s electric cars to reach and perhaps even exceed price parity with fossil fuel-powered vehicles.