LG may win Apple Car business in 2023 as it starts retooling former phone factory for EV chargers
LG is planning to diversify its electric vehicle component business into integrated charging solutions such as stations, cables, connectors, and control software, reports Korean media. It is now revamping the factory where it used to make its deprecated Android handsets, into an EV charging systems production plant, with the goal to start installing those at supermarkets and shopping malls next year.
LG is already producing EV batteries for Tesla and others, and even plans to enter the 4680 cell supply chain by beating Panasonic at its own game. In fact, it is the world's second largest electric car battery maker after CATL, with 14% market share as of November. The Tesla Vision self-driving camera system orders are split between LG and Samsung, too, while LG also supplies long-life dual-stack flexible OLED displays for EV infotainment systems like the pillar-to-pillar Hyperscreen in the Mercedes EQS, a feat that Samsung is yet to pull off.
LG aims to have most of its subsidiaries produce something for the growing electric car industry, and the EV charging infrastructure business is now in a dedicated department as the global charger supply and maintenance market is expected to grow to the whopping US$325 billion by 2030. The goal is to build "a value chain from manufacturing to charging station operation" and "grow into an integrated solution provider that encompasses software and hardware."
According to KB Securities analyst Kim Dong-won, there is currently a lot of EV supply chain jostling related to the allegedly renewed Apple Car project, as companies are positioning to win potential component orders from Apple. "If Apple is planning to launch an Apple car, it will start configuring the parts supply chain from next year," he comments, and adds that "there is a high possibility of collaborating with the LG Group."
LG is already an established supplier of parts for iPhones and is expected to start shipping OLED displays for future Macs and iPads. It, therefore, has a good chance to be considered as an Apple Car parts supplier if it prioritizes its EV component business and that may be why it is now investing in charging solutions, or promoting executives to head its electric car push.