LG Electronics To The Rescue

| About: LG Electronics (LGEAF)

Summary

Designing an EV requires knowledge of many new technologies.

Although the very large auto companies are investing in these technologies, there are many small companies that can’t afford to develop them, yet need “compliance” cars to sell in California.

LG Electronics has developed the components that will allow all automakers to develop cars that will meet compliance and compete in the EV market. The Bolt is an excellent example.

California started it by defining zero emission vehicles as vehicles really having zero emissions and rewarding them with tax breaks and use of HOV lanes. They also punished cars with an internal combustion engine by making them pay ZEV credits. Other states with lesser budgets have decided to adopt California's rules rather than develop their own rules regarding car emissions. Basically California is forcing all companies to produce and sell a minimum of zero emissions vehicles or lose sales in the state(s).

General Motors (NYSE:GM) has spent a great deal on EV development with their EV1, their Hydrogen Project and finally the Chevy Volt.

The Volt however isn't a true EV as it has an ICE engine to use as a range extender. A pure EV has additional requirements that are completely new and GM found that LG (OTC:LGEAF) could supply those requirements.

First using a battery pack as the sole means of power requires knowledge of the batteries characteristics, monitoring them and developing a cooling and heating system for both summer and winter climates.

Drive circuit designs can efficiently develop the three-phase power from the 400-volt battery and automatically return it to the battery when braking is required. A plug-in charger must be developed. ICE cars can use the engine to power an air conditioner. An EVs battery must power the air conditioner and heaters.

Faced with the necessity to produce a pure EV to meet California's compliance in a short period of time, GM decided to basically let LG provide all the basic components required. These include the battery, motor, drive circuit, air conditioner and heaters for thermal management of both the battery and cabin.

LG will provide the entire industry with a quick solution to their compliance problem.

Evidently LG has been working for years (probably with GM) developing the building blocks for an EV. They now will supply all the necessary components to supplement ICE manufacturers requirements.

The Battery Pack

LG battery packs are made up of Li-ion cells connected in series parallel just like the Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) packs. However the number of cells is greatly reduced because each cell is more powerful. Where the S uses about 6,800 cells for their pack the Bolt only uses two or three hundred cells, which can be configured into different package dimensions.

Click to enlargeBolt Batteries

PDU

The PDU or power distribution unit is a device that provides power distribution for high-voltage modules by controlling energy flow in high voltage batteries.

Powertrain

The powertrain consists of an inverter that takes the DC battery voltage and converts it to a three phase drive for the motor. The unit also provides regenerative braking.

Inverter

  • Maximum output 120 kW
  • High-efficiency driving algorithm (97% at maximum)
  • Helps protect vehicles and enhances reliability by utilizing a short circuit protection function
  • Improved cooling performance by direct water cooling

Motor

LG calls it a "Traction Motor" - it drives the rear wheels when powered by the inverter.

  • Power rating: 80-120 kW
  • Output efficiency 96%
  • Permanent magnet motor / field winding motor
  • Hairpin winding technology applied

Thermal Management

An air conditioner in an EV requires a compressor powered by the battery.

  • Maximum cooling performance: 7.5kW (8600rpm)
  • Refrigerants: R134a, R1234yf
  • Input voltage: 200 ~ 440V
  • Inverter-embedded scroll compressor

High-pressure compressor applicable to cooling or heat pump

HiPOR(High Pressure Oil Return) technology applied

PTC Heater

A PTC Heater warms the air within the cabin by heating the coolant of an electric vehicle that is not equipped with an internal combustion engine.

  • Maximum heating performance: 7.5kW, 5.8kW
  • Enduring voltage: 2100VDC
  • Input voltage: 285 ~ 424VDC
  • High voltage safety guaranteed
  • High-voltage PWM controller
  • IP6K9K compliance guaranteed

SHEATH HEATER

The Sheath Heater helps increase battery efficiency by heating the coolant when its temperature is too low.

FEATURES

  • Maximum heating performance 1.8 kW, 5.1 kW
  • Enduring voltage: 3800 VDC
  • Input voltage: 180-480 VDC
  • Heater safety with thermal fuse and temperature sensor
  • IP6K9K compliance guaranteed

Build your own EV

All the components shown above are evidently available to any manufacturer of ICE vehicles. Sort of Plug-and-Play. The final result is interesting when you put all of the stuff together.

Bolt Chassis with all systems installed.

Conclusion

LG recognized that batteries aren't all ICE makers need to build an EV. They are selling all the necessary items required to build a competitive EV. Although compliance is driving this necessity, the cars still must sell and the LG offering will allow manufacturers such as Subaru, Mitsubishi (OTC:MMTOY), Tata (NYSE:TTM), etc., to build a competitive compliance cars that will sell without investing in manufacturing all the special components.

The reality is that LG is overloaded and will be building a plant in China to keep up. So it will probably be two to three years before other manufacturers can get any quantity, but they all can design their EV compliance cars now.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Editor's Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.