German automakers know they need to establish a European battery industry, and they’re taking steps to chip away at the stranglehold Asian firms have on the market. Audi is reportedly planning an assembly plant for EV battery packs near its plant in Ingolstadt, Germany.
Electrive, citing the Korean blog Guru, tells us that Audi intends to assemble cells supplied by LG Chem into ready-to-install battery packs at the new plant. Audi already uses cells from longtime supplier LG in several models built at Ingolstadt. The German automaker also uses cells from Samsung SDI.
Meanwhile, LG Chem is planning a major expansion of its battery cell production in Europe. The European Investment Bank has agreed to lend the Korean cell manufacturer €480 million to expand the capacity of an existing plant in Wroclaw, Poland. The €1.5-billion project is expected to increase LG Chem’s production capacity in Wroclaw to about 65 GWh per year.
LG Chem has already bought a 223,000-square-meter factory, formerly used to build TVs, near its existing cell plant in Wroclaw.