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South Korean dominance in EV batteries

Tue, 04/16/2013 - 18:36 -- Ruth Williams

South Korean battery makers LG Chem and Samsung SDI have won contracts to supply batteries to GM and Volkswagen respectively.

The South Korean unit of General Motors, GM Korea, has selected LG Chem as the supplier of batteries for its next-generation electric car, the Spark.

LG has previously supplied the batteries for the Chevrolet Volt plug-in from its Korean plant. GM Korea will export the Spark from this month to the US and will sell it in Korea later in the year.

Samsung SDI will be supplying batteries to VW and has expanded production lines at its Ulsan plant accordingly. It has not been announced which vehicle it will be supplying the batteries for. At present, the capacity of the Ulsan plant is 50 000 per month, but on expansion this will rise to 400 000 per month.

VW has plans to produce a number of EVs and HEVs including the Gold Blue-e-Motion, e-up!, XL1 and E-Bugster.