South Korea-based LG Energy Solution (LGES) will invest $1.7 billion to expand capacity some 500% at its existing electric vehicle battery plant in Holland, Michigan, according to an announcement from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
The announcement comes just two months after GM announced its JV with LG, Ultium Cell LLC, will invest up to $2.5 billion to build a battery cell plant in Lansing, Michigan.
The company’s Holland plant currently makes large lithium-ion polymer battery cells (pouch type) and packs for electric vehicles. The investment will allow it to make next-generation long cell design batteries.
Ultium Cell already has two plants under construction in the US, one in Ohio and another in Tennessee, where production is slated to commence late 2023.
Separately, LGES announced plans to invest 1.7 trillion won ($1.4 billion) to build a new cylindrical battery factory in Arizona.
The newly announced plant will be the first ever cylindrical-type battery manufacturing plant in North America and is slated to start construction in the second quarter of 2022 with production expected in the second half of 2024.
The Arizona plant is expected to produce cylindrical battery cells of various sizes that can be used in EVs, electric scooters, electric power tools and even vaporising pens.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said battery production would be “the limiting factor” for vehicle production over the next two to three years and has called on suppliers to raise production.
Founded in 1947, LGES, formerly known as LG Chem Michigan and a division of LG, designs and produces large lithium-ion polymer battery cells and packs for EVs and other energy storage applications.
LG Energy Solution first set up shop in Michigan in 2010, when it opened its first US EV battery plant there.
LGES is also developing a Battery Academy to train employees at its Michigan locations, with programs that include career path training, apprenticeships, engineering development programs, leadership development and hydraulic and pneumatic trainings, many developed in partnership with local community colleges.