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Automotive News Interviews CEO of LG Chem

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by RobStark, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    Battery maker shrugs off Tesla competition


    David Sedgwick
    Automotive News
    October 13, 2014 - 12:01 am ET



    Korean battery maker LG Chem expects to grab 25 percent of global electric-vehicle battery sales by 2017 as battery prices fall and EV range rises.

    LG Chem appeared poised to dominate the U.S. EV battery market until Tesla Motors Inc. announced plans for its gigafactory in Nevada.

    No matter.

    After years of disappointment, the EV market is ready to grow, predicts Prabhakar Patil, CEO of LG Chem Power Inc., the company's North American arm. Patil, 64, offered a glimpse of the EV's future during a Sept. 23 interview with Staff Correspondent David Sedgwick.


    Q: Consultant IHS Automotive predicts global sales of EVs, plug-ins, hybrids and microhybrids will top 5 million vehicles in 2017. What will be LG Chem's market share?


    A:
    We expect to have a 25 percent share. We know that we will be producing batteries for several automakers that we're talking with.



    LG Chem's Holland, Mich., plant makes batteries for the Chevrolet Volt and Cadillac ELR. At what percent of capacity is the plant operating?


    It's at 25 to 30 percent of capacity.



    What is the plant's break-even point?


    I can't tell you about our plant, so my answer has to be generic. Generally, plants have to operate at 80 percent of capacity.



    EV sales are slow in North America. Will Tesla and its partner, Panasonic Corp., cause a battery glut with the gigafactory in Nevada?


    I really wish them success. Tesla has shaken up the image of EVs and made it a product that people want to have. But their sales goal of 500,000 EVs -- that remains a question mark.



    Are Tesla and Panasonic overly optimistic?

    [Their sales goal] is a question mark. But I hope they are successful because it would benefit everybody. One thing Tesla has done very successfully is to change the image of the EV.



    Does the North American battery industry suffer from chronic overcapacity?


    Yes. Unfortunately, the hype about the growth of electric vehicles created unrealistic expectations, which make EVs look like a failure. But it's actually the other way around.



    How long will lithium ion remain the battery of choice? Is there any technology -- say, lithium air batteries -- that will replace it?


    We'll have lithium ion for at least the next 10 to 15 years
    . Before you put anything on the road, you need five years to validate your technology. So if you want to have a proven technology by 2020, you need to solve all issues in the lab by 2015. I don't see anything in anybody's closet that is ready for that.

    Complete Article

    http://www.autonews.com/article/20141013/OEM02/310139995/battery-maker-shrugs-off-tesla-competition
     
  2. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Interesting article, thanks for posting.
     
  3. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    Mr Patil gets it. Tesla is a halo vehicle for the entire BEV space.

    Whatever battery cell sales are lost to Tesla from people forgoing hybrids is more than made up for by people buying BEVs equipped with LG batteries. Because Tesla is causing more and more people to consider BEVs. Even if they ultimately don't buy a Tesla there is a good chance they buy a more affordable BEV.

    The competition is ICE not other BEVs.
     
  4. adiggs

    adiggs Active Member

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    It's refreshing to hear somebody who really does see that the competition is ICE - not other BEVs. There are 10's of millions of units to be shifted over to BEV on an annual basis, and everybody together is approximately a rounding error in the BEV space. yeah, there's room :)
     
  5. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    It does beg the question though, that if the LG Chem plant is operating at only 30% capacity, why isn't Tesla buying batteries from them?
     
  6. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Because they're making prismatic cells, Tesla uses cylindrical 18650s and Tesla gets a better deal working with Panasonic?
     
  7. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    Among many reasons, they make pouch cells not 18650 cells.
     
  8. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    Great catch, great interview. Interesting to see the plant utilization percentage and how long they think it would be before new advances make it to market (which is likely sandbagged a little).

    As for Tesla & LG Chem, it is not a form factor problem first, but a chemistry problem. They aren't making NCA which has the specific energy necessary for a car like the Model S. They are making NCM batteries which are much less volatile and have far less specific energy. Since they are far less volatile, they can make them in pouch or prismatic form factors. NCA, on the other hand, would be much more dangerous in that form factor. Hence Tesla went through great pains to design the battery pack the way they did with individual fuses, separation, and cooling jackets with smaller cells in cylindrical form. It basically intersperses more cooling and safety throughout the cells than is possible in a prismatic or pouch form factor.

    For LG Chem, they hope to hit 2nd or 3rd generation NCM that might match Panasonic/Tesla's specific energy. I suspect 2nd generation is timed with Model 3, about 2016/2017 and they hope 3rd generation high voltage NCM by 2020. Note that SKI is building NCM at 200 Wh/kg which is at least in the rough ballpark of the 250-260 Wh/kg of Panasonic/Tesla's NCA. They hope that with NCM, they can forgo the liquid cooling at the pack level which means they can possibly make up some ground in specific energy at the pack level.
     
  9. jhm

    jhm Active Member

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    Ok, so if LG is aiming for 25% auto market share (by unit or hWh?), I wonder who's aiming for the other 75%?
     
  10. Zzzz...

    Zzzz... Member

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    Virtually all major li-ion manufacturers are interested in the market, like Lishen/Samsung/BYD/ATL/LG nevermind Panasonic.
    Untitled.jpg
     

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