According to industry sources on May 11, LG Chem is planning to use the entire line of its Holland, Michigan battery plant for electric cars this year, after its partial opening starting on July 2013.
Although the construction of the Holland plant was completed in June 2012, only one out of three lines began to operate in July 2013, stemming from a slump in the electric car market. The other two lines have been idle for three years. The currently-operating line is supplying all of the batteries that it produces to the Chevrolet Volt, an electric hybrid car manufactured by General Motors. As the two lines do not operate, the Holland plant is said to produce only 12,000 units, far less than the originally-planned 40,000 units per year.
However, global car manufacturers are going to launch their new electric car models in 2016, in line with each country's eco-friendly energy policy. Therefore, experts are saying that LG Chem also made the decision to commence full operations of the entire line, which has been held off in the meantime.
Currently, the largest Korean chemical company is producing batteries for electric cars at its facility in Ochang, North Chungcheong Province, Korea, and its Holland, Michigan plant in the U.S. The construction of its factory in Nanjing, China is going to be finalized by the end of this year, after it started in September last year. Therefore, LG Chem will be able to have production systems in Korea, the U.S., and China by next year.
Once the full operation of the Holland plant and the new facility in Nanjing begin, LG Chem is expected to produce more than 340,000 electric car batteries a year. By factory, the plant in Ochang is likely to produce 200,000 units, the Nanjing facility 100,000 units, and the Holland plant 400,000 units.