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SK Innovation to build EV batteries in US?

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

South Korean energy and chemical company SK Innovation (SKI) is reportedly considering building an electric vehicle battery plant in the US, but is staying tight-lipped on details.

The announcement follows President Donald Trump’s order of a ‘Section 232’ investigation that could lead to the US slapping a 25% import tariff on automobile parts brought into the US. 

SKI currently counts Hyundai and Daimler among its customers, but does not yet have any clients in the US. 

South Korean rival LG Chem currently has an American factory in Holland, Massachusetts, from which it supplies American car manufacturer General Motors.

SKI told Reuters: “We are considering building a battery plant in the southern part of the US and at the moment two to three states are on the list. US expansion aims to supply products to US automakers. We can also expect tariff benefits, although this is not the major reason for the expansion.”

In August of this year, SKI announced plans to build a battery gigafactory in China’s Jiangsu Province by 2019, in a joint venture with BAIC Motor and Beijing Electronics. The factory is expected to produce 7.5 gigawatt-hours worth of battery cells each year.

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