Honda and LG Energy Solution plan US battery joint venture

South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solution (LGES) plans to form a battery joint venture (JV) with Japan’s Honda Motor Co Ltd in the United States, South Korean newspaper Maeil Business said on Friday, citing a unnamed industry source.

The potential battery joint venture between LGES and Honda could cost up to 4 trillion won ($3.4 billion) and have an annual production capacity of up to 40 gigawatt hours (GWh) of batteries, enough to power 600,000 electric vehicles, the newspaper reported. The report did not contain details, such as the timeline for the construction of the joint venture and the start of operations.

LGES, the battery subsidiary of LG Chem Ltd, controls more than 20% of the global electric vehicle battery market and supplies Tesla Inc, General Motors Co and Volkswagen AG, among others.

“We are discussing different ways to cooperate with automakers, including setting up joint ventures, but nothing has been decided,” LGES said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for Honda in the United States declined to comment on the story.

“It’s not something Honda has announced. We can’t comment on speculation,” a Honda spokesman said in Tokyo.

Honda and alliance partner GM plan to introduce two jointly-developed full-size electric vehicle models in North America using GM’s Ultium batteries in 2024. GM will manufacture Ultium batteries in a joint venture with LG.

Honda Motor chief executive Toshihiro Mibe said last year that the Japanese automaker was ready to form new alliances to make electrification profitable.

LGES, which has battery production sites in the United States, China, South Korea, Poland and Indonesia, plans to invest a total of 5.6 trillion won ($4.7 billion) in North America by 2024 to secure more than 160 GWh of generation capacity by 2025 in the region, according to a company filing.

This includes two new US plants built jointly with GM in Ohio and Tennessee, as well as a battery joint venture with Stellantis NV.

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