LG announces US charger manufacturing
South Korean firm will build hardware in Texas and adopt supplier-operator model with CPOs
South Korean electronics heavyweight LG has announced plans to build its first EV charging manufacturing facility in Texas.
LG's move into charging will increase an EV footprint that already includes a material share of the battery manufacturing market, where it is the largest cell producer outside of China, according to Korean consultancy SNE Research.
"This new factory will manufacture chargers for the US market and we anticipate extending this momentum to other markets including Europe and Asia," says LG senior vice-president of B2B vertical sales Michael Kosla, speaking at industry conference CES in Las Vegas, NV.
LG will roll out 350kW ultra-fast chargers as well as 11kW and 175kW charging hardware. The devices will be made for the US market in 2024 but LG will aim for "additional models globally in the near future."
The company confirms that the manufactured chargers will be equipped with native NACS connectors, after the Tesla-made system's official standardisation by an industry body in December.
LG has not yet announced the value of its investment, a timeline for construction, or any targeted production volumes.
"These solutions from LG aim to deliver a rapid and convenient charging experience aligning with the pace of our dynamic lifestyles and contributing to a cleaner energy future," Kosla says.
LG has been inking partnerships with several unnamed charge point operators (CPOs). Through these partnerships, LG will provide digital signage products to CPOs in addition to charging hardware.
The company also plans to manage and operate its charging hardware on behalf of CPO partners, and will supply CPOs with software solutions for "infrastructure status predictions, charger load management, and pre-emptive diagnostics", according to Kosla.
LG and its CPO partners will now likely compete for funding under the New Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (Nevi) program, which has experienced delays in funding delivery and procurement bottlenecks.
LG's South Korean peers have already making headway in the US market, with charging manufacturers such as SK Signet and Samsung announced partnerships with US CPOs in 2023. And there could be more to come.
"In three or four years, the South Korean companies SK Signet, Samsung, LG, Daeyoung Chaevi, and Hyundai-Kefico will command a significant percentage of the DC fast charging market, as well as Level 2. SK Signet America has already captured 24pc of the Nevi awards to date, and has been increasing its share steadily," says Loren McDonald, analyst at consultancy EV Adoption.