Hyundai and LG Chem form a car-battery joint venture
Hyundai Mobis, the auto parts making unit of Hyundai Motor Group, and LG Chem announce a joint venture to produce lithium-ion car batteries.
Named HL Green Power Co., the $25 million venture is 51 percent owned by Hyundai Mobis, while LG Chem, the nation’s biggest chemicals maker, holds the remaining stake.
According to Hyundai Mobis, the joint venture is expected to start production in the second half of 2010. The automaker announced it will build a production plant with an estimated production of 200.000 battery packs per year.
By 2014, Hyundai Mobis and LG Chem plan to spend a total of US$39 million to increase the factory’s annual capacity to 400.000 battery packs.
Hyundai will use LG Chem’s lithium-ion batteries in several hybrid vehicles that are scheduled to make a debut during the next two years. At the moment, Hyundai only sells the Elantra LPG hybrid car, which also uses LG Chem battery packs, but they already revealed plans to introduce a Sonata hybrid car by the end of the year.
Hyundai’s sister company, Kia Motors, will also use similar hybrid technology for its up-coming Optima sedan. Kia also sells Forte LPG hybrid car in South Korea since September last year.
LG Chem has also announced a partnership agreement with China’s Chongqing Changan Auto. The company will supply lithium-ion batteries for several Changan’s hybrid vehicles destined to hit the market in the second half of the year.
The Chinese car producer Chongqing Changan has already introduced a CV11 hybrid van, but they also plan to add a hybrid sedan named CV8 to their fast expanding vehicle line-up.
This is already the second battery-supply agreement with a company overseas, after LG Chem clinched a mutual partnership with General Motors last year. And more deals are yet to come says LG Chem. According to their spokesperson, they are in talks with other major automobile producers from Europe, US and Japan.
Some sources indicate that the Korean largest battery maker has been in talks to supply their highly competitive lithium-ion battery technology to Volkswagen and Ford.