A planned battery manufacturing joint venture between South Korea’s top battery maker LG Energy Solution Ltd., US carmaker Ford Motor Co. and a Turkish partner has been scrapped amid growing concerns over the slowing pace of electric vehicle adoption.
LG said Turkish investment holding company KOC Holding AS canceled the three-way agreement to build a battery cell JV for commercial EVs in Baskent, a city near the Turkish capital of Ankara.
KOC revoked its commitment to the JV, citing a slowdown in EV uptakes in Europe, saying the timing is not “appropriate.”
The Turkish firm said future battery cell investments will be evaluated in line with the dynamics of the European EV market.
The three partners signed a non-binding agreement in February, aimed at establishing one of Europe’s largest EV battery cell facilities near Ankara. Under the deal, the companies were to break ground on the JV factory by the end of this year with production scheduled for 2026. LG said the plant initially would have an annual productional capacity of 25 gigawatt hours (GWh) before eventually expanding to 45 GWh, enough for 500,000 electric cars.
Sources said last week that the three-party battery JV is likely to be postponed as the global EV market is slowing.
Battery cells produced at the factory were supposed to be supplied to Ford for its commercial vehicles, mostly the E-Transit, the electric version of the Transit van.
Ford and KOC operate an electric car JV, Ford Otosan, which can produce 450,000 commercial vehicles in Turkey, targeting the European market.
LG SUPPLIES TO FORD COME FROM OTHER FACTORIES
LG Energy said the scrapped JV project won’t affect its battery cell supplies to Ford.
“Batteries for Ford’s commercial vehicles will be supplied from our existing factories elsewhere. We expect our partnership with Ford to continue to expand,” said an LG official.
He said LG will continue to support Ford’s vision to offer a variety of EVs, including commercial vehicles, throughout Europe by 2035.