General Motors has decided to use lithium-ion batteries by LG Chem on Chevrolet Spark compacts.
The Spark EV is manufactured only in GM Korea's plant in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province. A GM spokesman on Thursday said the company has decided to change the EV battery supplier for the Spark from A123 Systems, and GM Korea CEO Sergio Rocha will make the announcement at the Busan International Motor Show, which opens in the end of this month.
Industry watchers believe GM switched suppliers because A123 Systems was bought out by China's Wanxiang Group in February. Most of the Spark EVs manufactured at GM's Changwon plant are exported overseas.
LG Chem will supply the lithium-ion batteries to the GM plant in Michigan, where the U.S. automaker then makes battery packs that will be sent back to Changwon.
GM produces the Spark EV and the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt, which has been using LG Chem's lithium-ion batteries since 2009.
The carmaker recently announced major plans to invest in its EV business and LG Chem is viewed as a prime beneficiary.