[Photo by LG Chem Inc.]
South Korea’s leading battery maker LG Chem Inc. finds money in Vietnam, a country of two wheels, by powering e-scooters that have been catching on fast.
A JV it has established last year with Vietnam’s top automaker VinFast supplied lithium-ion battery packs for more than 30,000 units of e-scooter over the past year.
LG Chem and VinFast began operating the plant in June last year, two months after they established the JV in April. VinFast, a car making unit of Vietnamese biggest conglomerate Vingroup, released its first e-scooter equipped with a cylindrical battery in November 2018 and has installed LG Chem’s batteries to three models. The company sold 45,118 units of e-scooters until the end of last year, of which 30,000 units were powered with LG Chem’s batteries.
The Vietnamese e-scooter market has been rapidly growing with around 200,000 units sold per year on average, compared with just 50,000 units sold in 2017.
VinFast is set to unveil the country’s first electric car installed with LG Chem’s battery in November this year and start mass production in January next year.
VinFast, which had entered the finished car market in 2018, sold 5,124 units of vehicles in the first quarter ended March this year, becoming the fifth largest carmaker following Hyundai, Toyota, Kia and Honda in Vietnam.
The Vietnamese government has imposed several rules to regulate motorcycles due to heavy traffic and environmental reasons, but the demand for e-scooters is forecast to increase because the public transportation system is underdeveloped in the country. “Motorbike sales went down 70 percent in April from a year ago due to the impact of coronavirus, but the figure is projected to reach above 3 million by the end of the year,” an industry source said. “There is a huge growth potential in the Vietnamese e-scooter market if charging stations are added.”
By Won Ho-sup and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]