LG Chem has signed a five-year deal with Nemaska Lithium, a Canadian supplier of lithium hydroxide. The deal is set to begin in late 2020 and covers 7,000 tons of lithium hydroxide per annum.
The agreed amount is said to be enough to make about 140,000 batteries for electric vehicles a year. LG Chem must secure its lithium supply to be able to cover growing demand from electric carmakers worldwide.
The company produces batteries in factories in South Korea, China, the States and Poland. Clients such as GM, Volvo, Renault and Hyundai-Kia rely on LG Chem for electric car batteries.
The market is under pressure though, both from growing demand as well as new competitors from China. A recent analysis by SNE Research had ranked BYD and CATL among the top three of the world’s largest battery makers.
In Japan, the answer is to move on to the next state of battery development, solid-state reportedly. Toyota, Nissan and Honda joined forces to work on said technology for electric cars. Also Panasonic is part of the consortium consisting of 23 firms in total. They aim to commercialise solid-state batteries in the early 2020ies.