GM and LG have a real bromance going. The Korean electronics giant has been supplying key components of the Detroit automaker’s OnStar telematics system since 2007. Battery subsidiary LG Chem was the sole supplier of battery cells for the first-generation Volt.
The two buddies will collaborate even more deeply on the upcoming Bolt 200-mile EV. “The Bolt EV will be the result of an entirely different PEM/supplier relationship,” said GM Executive VP Mark Reuss, adding that GM couldn’t build the Bolt without such a long-term partnership.
The Bolt is chock-full of LG-made components, including the battery pack and battery heater, a new GM-designed motor, the power inverter module, electric climate control system compressor, on-board charger, high-power distribution module, accessory power module, and power line communication module. LG Electronics also provides display technology for the instrument and infotainment clusters.
“I think GM was lacking that [electrification knowledge] in a very complete way for many years, I’ll just be frank about that,” Reuss said. “I also think that on an electrified basis, this requires a long-term commitment and trust that sometimes is violated on a more short-term, regular, traditional basis. I think we have found something completely different with LG.”
GM actually designed many of the components, such as the motor, but has chosen to take advantage of LG’s expertise and scale in manufacturing.
“Chevrolet needs to be disruptive in order to maintain our leadership position in electrification,” said Reuss. “By taking the best of our in-house engineering prowess established with the Volt and Spark EV, and combining the experience of the LG Group, we’re able to transform the concept of the industry’s first long-range, affordable EV into reality.”
Despite all the warm fuzzies, LG Chem is reportedly disappointed in its friend for revealing battery cell costs to the press. A few weeks ago, GM announced that the Bolt’s battery cost would be an “industry-leading” $145/kWh.
According to Autoline Daily’s John McElroy, that’s $100 cheaper than what others are paying. As South Korea’s E-Today reported, “LG Chem is ticked off, it cannot understand why General Motors would disclose the price of the batteries, because now all of LG Chem’s other customers are going to be asking for the price.”