KG Mobility to build battery factory in South Korea
The Ssangyong successor company KG Mobility has reached an agreement with BYD to build a factory for battery packs on the site of its engine factory in Changwon, South Korea, which is expected to go into operation before the end of 2024. The battery packs produced there will be used in the Torres EVX electric SUV, the O100 e-pickup planned for the second half of 2024 and other future models.
KG Mobility and BYD are also cooperating on the development of a new hybrid drive, which is to be used in a model based on the Torres from 2025. In August, a Korean newspaper reported that KG Mobility was negotiating with BYD to build a joint battery cell factory in South Korea. It now appears that the battery cells will not be produced locally by BYD, but will be supplied for assembly in the packs.
“Expanding cooperation with BYD will be an opportunity to strengthen our electric vehicle lineup, including Torres EVX, KR10, and F100, and to reorganize the company’s product lineup around eco-friendly vehicles, introducing electric vehicle-exclusive platforms and launching hybrid models,” KG Mobility Chairman Kwak Jae-Sun said.
In August, BYD and KG Mobility started discussing the construction of the battery plant, with intentions to start production by early 2025. A specific date is not yet available, however, an official from KG MObility stated that the company expects the plant to be operational before late 2024. In addition, reference was repeatedly made to the launch of a “hybrid model based on the Torres in 2025,” which would likely benefit from the batteries, implying that production would have to be in full swing by then.
KG Mobility rebranded itself from Ssangyong in April of this year, alongside launching the Korando e-Motion. The next models are already lined up, however, as KG Mobility Chairman Kwak Jae-sun stated: “Our partnership with BYD will be a stepping stone for KG Mobility to make the pivot to eco-friendly cars including the Torres EVX, the KR100 and the F100, and to introduce an all-new EV platform.”