LG Chem Ltd., South Korea’s leading battery maker, will supply battery packs for Jaguar Land Rover’s first pure electric vehicle, a move that is expected to further bolster growth in LG Chem’s EV battery business this year.
According to industry sources on Sunday, LG Chem will manufacture battery packs for Jaguar’s I-Pace electric crossover at its first Europe-based battery plant in Wroclaw, Poland starting this month.
I-Pace is Jaguar’s first all-electric sport utility vehicle that can offer a range of 500 kilometers on a single charge and achieve 100 kilometers-per-hour acceleration in four seconds. The 90 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, to be supplied by LG Chem, can be recharged to 80 percent in 90 minutes and fully charged in two hours with a rapid charger.
As Jaguar last year pledged to offer the entire range of Jaguar cars and Land Rover sport utility vehicles in fully-electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid variants by 2020, the latest supply agreement may open up new battery pack orders from the U.K. car maker.
Volvo Car Group also vowed to provide only hybrid or battery-run vehicles of its new models as of 2019.
Thanks to the worldwide electric vehicle boom, EV battery makers are poised for solid growth in coming years. LG Chem also projects its EV battery sales in 2017 to be 1.7 trillion won ($1.59 billion) and expects to expand by 50 percent this year. Its well-rounded business portfolio and robust market performance have helped boost its shares by nearly 60 percent over the past year.
The Wroclaw plant, LG Chem’s first battery production base in Europe, will also ensure stable supply of EV battery packs amid growing demand. The plant started construction in October 2016 and became operational from January this year. It is capable of producing batteries to power 100,000 EVs annually.
Buoyed by rosy outlook, the company`s shares have surged more than 50 percent over a year. Its shares were traded at 253,000 won apiece on 2 January 2017 and surpassed 400,000 won this year. Shares of LG Chem closed Monday at 424,500 won, up 4.81 percent from the previous session.
By Chung Seung-hwan and Kim Hyo-jin
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