LG Chem will supply 12V low voltage system (LVS) batteries to German automaker BMW. It is not a contract for supplying batteries for electric vehicles, but it is notable that the company has entered the exclusive BMW supply chain. LG Chem is now in a supply relationship with many of global automakers.
According to industry sources on Dec. 6, LG Chem has secured 12V LVS lithium-ion batteries for the BMW’s mid-sized sedan 3-series and the sports utility vehicle (SUV) model X3. LVS is a 12V or 48V lithium-ion battery that replaces or is in addition to internal combustion locomotive lead storage batteries to improve fuel efficiency and performance.
In recent years, regulations on CO2 emissions have been strengthened in many countries, and with LVS, the average fuel efficiency can be increased by 4% to 20% with minimized design changes.
LG Chem’s contract is also meaningful in that the company entered the exclusive BMW supply chain with the 12V battery. Except for some models sold in China, BMW has procured electric vehicle batteries exclusively from Samsung SDI. With this contract, LG Chem has now secured a partnership with most of the electric car makers, including Volkswagen, Audi, Daimler, Renault, General Motors, Ford, Hyundai, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover. The exceptions are Toyota and Tesla.
LG Chem's automobile battery order backlog increased by 18 trillion won (US$16 billion) in six months to 60 trillion won (US$54 billion) as of the end of the first half of this year. The production capacity (CAPA) target has also been set 10 to 20% higher than the original target of 90 GWh for 2020. The company aims to achieve sales of 10 trillion won (US$9 billion) just in the automobile battery business by 2020.