Automaker wanted Z-stack while battery maker wanted laminate and stack
Pair agree on Hyundai proposal to Z-stack
Hyundai Motor and LG Energy Solution disagreed over the method of battery production to be used in their electric vehicle (EV) battery joint venture in Indonesia before finally reaching an agreement, TheElec has learned.
The South Korean automaker wanted to use Z-stacking for battery cell assembly at HLI Green Power, while the battery maker argued it should continue to use lamination and stacking as it did before.
These methods refer to how the battery materials __ cathode, anode and separator __ are stacked during battery production.
Hyundai Motor eventually won the argument and the pair had agreed to use Z-stacking for battery production in Indonesia.
LG Energy Solution previously used lamination and stacking, its own proprietary method, for the batteries it supplied to Hyundai Motor. It fixes the separator between the anode and the cathode before stacking the resulting bi-cells.
Z-stacking is used by its rival SK On and Samsung SDI. It stacks anode, cathode and separator alternately.
People familiar with the subject said that layering and stacking had a productivity advantage, while Z-stacking was more stable.
The dispute between Hyundai Motor and LG Energy Solution was likely caused by the recall of Kona electric vehicles last year, they said.
The pair failed to pinpoint an exact cause at the time, which likely led the automaker to favor stability over productivity for the batteries it uses, they added.
While LG Energy Solution had a 99% return rate for its roll and stack method, since it didn’t do much Z-stacking, its return rate for this method was around 85% , said another group of people familiar with the matter.
Meanwhile, HLI Green Power is planned by Hyundai Motor and LG Energy Solution to initially have a production capacity of 10 GWh per year and will start production in 2024.
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