LG may have been making the news due to the company’s new products being unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, but that’s not the only thing the company has up its sleeve this week. A few states away, the company is also launching itself into the EV manufacturing business in the country.
In a press release, LG announced the opening of its new manufacturing plant in Fort Worth, Texas, which will build over 12,000 Level 2 and Level 3 EV chargers every year. Alec Jang, President of the LG Electronics Business Solutions Company, said in a statement that the opening of the plant is a step in the company’s plan to become a leader in the EV charging business not only in the United States but worldwide.
“The EV charger business is a growth engine for LG’s future, supporting the company’s transformation into a smart solutions company. LG will leverage the reliability and uncompromising quality of its chargers, maintenance services and vertical sales capabilities with the goal of becoming a leader in the EV charging business around the world.”
This isn’t the first plant for LG in Forth Worth. The company already has million-square-foot distribution center that serves as a hub for consumer electronics and home appliances in the city. Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker said that “this is a great day for Fort Worth with this global leader choosing to establish its U.S. manufacturing base for EV chargers and creating new jobs here. We take pride in knowing that LG’s advanced EV charging stations that will be deployed across the United States will be built right here in Fort Worth.”
LG Business Solutions USA’s Senior Vice President Michael Kosla said that the Level 2 and Level 3 EV chargers produced at the 100,000-square-foot factory “will open new opportunities for businesses, municipalities, and other public places to support the electrification of America with independently owned and operated charging stations that create new revenue streams, additional marketing and income opportunities, and differentiation with competing businesses.”
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Rather than building out a self-branded network like Tesla’s Superchargers or Rivian’s Adventure Network, LG wants to be the go-to brand for owner-operated EV charging stations. The company is targeting hotels, restaurants, venues, transit hubs, and municipal buildings as customers of its chargers. The company says that those who purchase its chargers can set their own rates, keep the profits that are generated, and control charging capacity.
The company is starting production with Level 2 AC Chargers with 11kW of output power through a standard SAE J1772 connector (CCS). LG says that it will produce its first Level 3 DC charger in the spring which will provide fast charging up to 175kW through both CCS1 and NACS connectors. It also plans to start building 350kW fast-chargers “later this year.”
As LG begins production of its Level 2 and Level 3 chargers in its new factory, the EV market in the United States faces a new challenge this year with the new federal tax credit requirements going into effect as of January 1st. While over half of dealerships in the country have signed up to offer the instant $7,500 federal tax credit for new EV purchases, the number of electric vehicles that qualify for that tax credit has dropped significantly due to those requirement changes.
Hopefully, Tesla’s redesigned Model 3 being available in the United States as of this week can help to boost sales — with or without the tax credit.