Electric car battery
LG Chem announced in a press release a new investment of 65 billion South Korean won (around 49 million euros) in its factory in Yeosu, South Korea, by the beginning of 2021. The sum will be used to accelerate the production of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), a form of carbon with interesting properties for electricity.
LG Chem thus intends to multiply the production of its NTC by more than three. This must increase by 1,200 tonnes to reach an annual production of 1,700 tonnes.
The electric car, but not only
According to the company's press release, CNTs have electrical and thermal conductivities similar to those of copper or diamond, properties which make them suitable for use in the design of various devices, and in particular the batteries of electric vehicles.
The company thus tends to engage in this market, clarifying that it does not only target the electric car segment: LG Chem also wishes to reach other sectors concerned by carbon nanotubes. In recent years, the market for these NTCs has grown considerably, with designers using them in particular in the development of lithium-ion batteries (which are also found in smartphones) in order to improve their conductivity.
The brand thus emphasizes that " by using CNTs as conductive anode additives, it is possible to obtain an improved conductivity of approximately 10% (…) and to reduce the amount of use of conductive materials by approximately 30%, a space which may be supplemented with anode materials necessary to improve the capacity and service life of lithium-ion batteries "
The brand thus expects the NTC market to be tripled in the coming years, anticipating demand of 13,000 tonnes in 2024, compared to 4,000 tonnes currently. Ultimately, LG Chem wants to improve the competitiveness of its products by basing its batteries on lithium-ion mixtures including carbon nanotubes. But it also plans to increase its sales of materials to Chinese, European and North American equipment suppliers, adding anticipate " plans for additional extensions in 2022 "
These extensions have already started. Beyond these 49 million euros intended for NTC, the company is investing massively in the production of batteries for electric vehicles. It signed a partnership with General Motors last December. According to the South Korean media, the brand has just contracted a 550 million euro loan intended to finance a future factory located in Poland. Last month, it had already contracted a first loan of 480 million euros from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance this same project. And a few weeks earlier, it acquired a television production plant in Turkey, with the aim of converting it and producing batteries there.
Source: Green Car Congress, Press release and Inside EVs.