Did you know that the Volt’s most important and priciest ingredient comes from Korea? The Volt battery is made by LG Chem, the battery arm of the Korean company formerly known as Lucky Goldstar. Noises coming from Korea indicate that GM might be building more Volts than thought. How do the Koreans know that? GM ordered more batteries.
“GM is likely to order far more batteries than we have previously planned for next year,” Ham Jae-gyung, senior vice president of LG’s car battery division, said at a briefing, without disclosing the size of the possible order, reports Reuters.
Originally, GM planned to build 10,000 Volts in 2011 and about 30,000 in 2012. In July, they up-revised those plans to 45,000 units in 2012. Now it could be even more. Why? Because of a single customer, GE.
GE announced they would buy 25,000 electric cars, including 12,000 from GM over the next five years.
LG Chem has a 6 year exclusive with GM. In reaction to the sudden demand, LG Chem plans to boost its annual production capacity at its Korean car battery plant. LG Chem’s U.S. battery plant will start production in 2012. It’s capacity will also be expanded.
Despite the good news, LG’s “much-touted car battery business has not been able to generate meaningful revenue for the South Korean manufacturer of chemicals and rechargeable batteries for mobile devices, as the market has not taken off,” says Reuters. It’s an investment in the supposedly electrified future.