LG Chem chief financial officer Cho Suk-jeh told Reuters EVs powered by the advanced, ‘second-generation’ batteries would be available in around two years’ time, though would not elaborate on exactly when and where they would appear first.
LG Chem currently supplies lithium-ion batteries to General Motors, Ford, Hyundai and Kia, Renault, Volvo, and other car makers. The 200-mile-plus range of the new batteries is roughly double that of the company’s current, ‘first-generation’ EV batteries.
GM is a front-runner to be first to market with the long-range batteries. The US car maker’s vice president for product development, Doug Parks, last year said GM planned to offer an EV with a range of at least 200 miles with a circa-US$30,000 ($32,000) price tag as early as 2016.
GM’s new EV will rival the forthcoming Tesla Model III, a pure-electric model set to launch in 2016 with a projected range of at least 320km and an anticipated starting price around US$35,000 ($37,250).
Tesla’s larger and more expensive Model S is already available with batteries capable of 390km and 502km ranges.