Battery maker LG Chem has strengthened its already tight grip on China’s EV market with its latest deal to supply lithium batteries to the country’s top OEM.
The South Korean firm has inked a deal to supply Changan Automobile Co. with batteries for its next-generation plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).
LG Chem has not disclosed how many batteries it will supply per year, but is set to establish an EV battery production line with an annual capacity of 100,000 units at its factory in Nanjing this year, with mass production due to start in 2016.
The deal with state-run Changan Automobile means LG Chem will now supply the countries top three automakers— it has already signed deals with Great Wall Motor Co. (ranked second) and Dongfeng Motor Corp. (ranked third).
The company is also set to develop batteries for vehicle OEM Audi in partnership Samsung SDI Co Ltd. The batteries will be used in sport utility vehicles (SUVs).
The South Korean companies will supply the batteries from plants in Europe, Audi confirmed last week.
LG Chem’s automotive customers include General Motors, Renault SA, and Daimler AG. Samsung SDI supplies EV batteries to BMW and Volkswagen.