South Korea’s Hyundai Motor, LG Chem considering EV battery JV in Indonesia: source

FILE PHOTO: An attendee takes a picture of the 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric vehicle being displayed at the New York Auto Show in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group and LG Chem Ltd are considering establishing an electric vehicle (EV) battery cell manufacturing joint venture in Indonesia, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

The size of investment or capacity have not been decided, said the person, declining to be identified as discussions are private.

The news comes as global automakers move to secure electric vehicle batteries in anticipation of a rise in EV sales due to government subsidies and quotas worldwide seeking to cut carbon emissions.

In recent years, battery maker LG Chem has set up separate ventures with both General Motors Co and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd.

LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo met Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Euisun Chung on Monday to discuss cooperation in EV batteries, including future battery technology.

Both LG Chem and Hyundai Motor Group confirmed the meeting but said nothing has been decided concerning a potential venture.

LG Group’s biggest companies include LG Chem and LG Electronics Inc. Hyundai Motor Group includes automakers Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp as well as auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis Co Ltd.

A battery cell joint venture would be the first for Hyundai, widely viewed as a relative latecomer to the EV market. The automaker is considering starting production of EVs tailored to Southeast Asia at a new plant in Indonesia, the region’s second-largest car production hub after Thailand.

Indonesia is promoting the domestic development of EV and battery production to create a downstream industry for the country’s rich supply of lithium battery ingredient, nickel laterite ore.

Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin and Joyce Lee; Additional reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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