INTERNATIONAL - US electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc is in advanced talks with South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd to source batteries for vehicles to be made in its Shanghai plant, a person familiar with the matter said.
The move represents a push by Tesla to diversify sources of the key component for its electric vehicles from its exclusive supplier, Japan’s Panasonic Corp.
Another source said LG Chem agreed to supply batteries for Tesla’s China plant, without elaborating.
LG Chem is expanding its China battery capacities and modifying some manufacturing facilities in Nanjing to make a different type of auto battery, according to the first source.
The company currently mainly makes pouch-type auto batteries, but as a major battery maker, it is not hard for it to revamp facilities to make cylindrical auto batteries that Tesla uses, the source and separate people familiar with the matter added.