DETROIT – General Motors and LG Group announced they have agreed to jointly design and engineer future electric vehicles, expanding a relationship built on LG’s work as the battery cell supplier for the Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera extended-range EVs.
The definitive agreement signed on Wednesday, Aug. 24, is expected to help GM expand the number and types of electric vehicles it makes and sells by using LG’s expertise in batteries and other systems. For LG, the arrangement represents a widening of its portfolio in the automotive sector.
“Many solutions for tomorrow’s transportation needs may be available more quickly by building on our partnership strategy,” said GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky. ”Consumers benefit by getting the latest fuel-saving technology faster if we work with the best suppliers and we save time and money in the development process.”
The success of the extended-range propulsion system in the Volt and Ampera led to exploring other collaborations in the electrification of the automobile, GM said. Teams of LG and GM engineers will work on key components, as well as vehicle structures and architectures. Vehicles resulting from the partnership will be sold in many countries.
The GM-LG relationship that began with LG delivering the cells for the battery pack of the Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera expanded last year with work on a demonstration fleet of Chevrolet Cruze electric vehicles. These vehicles, used as official vehicles of the G20 summit in Seoul, are now in the phase of market-testing to learn more about capabilities and requirements.
“This is a strategic development for LG, and we fully support GM’s goal to lead the industry in the electrification of the automobile,” said Juno Cho, president and chief operating officer of LG Corp.
The task of accelerating the pace of roadworthy technology is more important than ever with the announcement of a number of more stringent emission and fuel consumption regulations around the world, GM said. Those include the recent agreement calling for a U.S. corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) of 54.5 mpg (23.2km/l) by the end of the 2025 model year. Electric vehicles, which have no tailpipe emissions and require no gasoline, are expected to play a major role in reaching the CAFE goal.
Timing of the launch of the first vehicles resulting from the partnership will be announced closer to market readiness. The agreement does not involve an exchange of equity between the companies.