SEOUL, Nov. 30 (Yonhap) — SK Innovation Co. said Thursday it has decided to invest more than 1 trillion won (US$925 million) to boost electric vehicle (EV) 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 battery plant in the northwestern Hungarian city of Komarom in February.
Beginning in 2020, the 430,000-square-meter plant will be capable of producing EV cells with a combined 7.5 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year.
Komarom is home to assembly lines of German carmaker Audi and is not far away from a plant of another German automaker, Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz.
Meanwhile, SK Innovation said it has 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.
It also announced a plan to expand EV battery production lines in Seosan, 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 — the distance between New York and Plattsburgh — 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.