SEOUL, Nov. 30 (Korea Bizwire) — SK Innovation Co. said Thursday it has decided to invest more than 1 trillion won (US$925 million) to boost electric vehicle battery production capacity to meet growing demand.
The South Korean EV battery maker said it is set to break ground on a 840 million-won plant in Hungary in February. The 430,000-square-meter plant is capable of producing EV cells with a combined 7.5 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year, beginning in 2020.
Meanwhile, the company said it has also decided to invest about 150 billion won to expand production capacity of lithium-ion battery separators, a key component in EV batteries, in Jeungpyeong, about 126 kilometers south of Seoul.
Also Thursday, SK Innovation announced its plan to expand EV battery production lines in Seosan, some 150 kilometers south of Seoul. The latest investment will raise domestic production capacity of EV cells to a combined 4.7 GWh.
Batteries to be produced in the new facility in Seosan could enable a car to travel 500 kilometers on a single charge, according to the company.
SK Innovation is South Korea’s top oil refiner, but it has been pushing into the EV battery business since 2008 as part of efforts to find new revenue sources.