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Korean firms target EV charging market in US

SK, LG and Lotte make push for multi-billion dollar market

May 17, 2024 - 14:47 By Kan Hyeong-woo

Lotte and SK both made announcements of progress in their entries to the US EV charging market Thursday, joining LG as Korean conglomerates competing in the burgeoning sector.

Lotte Innovate announced Thursday that it had recently established EVSIS America, a US unit of its EV charging subsidiary and secured about 3,300 square meters of land in California to build an EV charger factory.

Lotte Innovate plans to complete preparations for the California plant’s production lines before the end of the first half of this year and begin sales activities across North America in the second half. The main products at the California plant will be the 180 kilowatt fast chargers and 400 kW superfast chargers that the company unveiled at CES 2024 in Las Vegas in January.

Lotte Innovate picked Samsung C&T as its business partner in North America. Samsung C&T will be in charge of marketing and sales of Lotte’s EV chargers using its global network.

“EVSIS America will be a good opportunity to show Korean companies’ mobility infrastructure capabilities in the global market along with EVs,” said Ko Doo-young, CEO of Lotte Innovate.

SK Signet also said Thursday that it had signed an exclusive supply contract with Gilbarco Veeder-Root, the world’s top fuel dispenser maker, at the UNITI Expo held in Germany earlier in the week.

Based on Gilbarco’s worldwide network, SK Signet looks to speed up the supply of V2 ultrafast EV chargers in 32 key markets. According to SK Signet, the V2 ultrafast model, a 400 kW charger, can charge the battery on a Hyundai Ioniq 5 to 80 percent in 15 minutes.

SK Signet aims to diversify its revenue sources from the current charging point operators to gas stations and supermarkets, where Gilbarco has strong market footholds in the US and Europe.

SK Signet began mass production of the ultrafast EV chargers at its manufacturing site in Plano, Texas last year. The Texas plant is capable of producing 10,000 units of ultrafast EV chargers per year. The company plans to double its capacity in phases.

LG Electronics opened an EV charger manufacturing plant in Fort Worth, Texas in January this year, officially entering the US charging market. The factory can produce up to 10,000 units a year.

LG Electronics began by producing its 11 kW wall-mounted and stand-type chargers, with plans to roll out 175 kW and 350 kW chargers before the end of this year.

The company acquired AppleMango, a Korean EV charger manufacturer, with GS Energy and GS Neotek in 2022, taking a 60 percent stake in the EV charger maker. LG later renamed the company to HiEV Charger.

LG said its business-to-business experiences in the US television and signage sectors will help the expansion of the company’s EV charging solutions business, as it intends to tap into various businesses with EV charging demands such as hotels, shopping malls, retail stores, gas stations and parking garages.

Despite the momentary slowdown in the EV market, industry watchers expect the EV transition will eventually pick up the pace again with more charging infrastructure.

According to Nova One Advisor’s report, the US EV charging infrastructure market size was estimated at $4.1 billion last year and is projected to reach $53.14 billion by 2033 with a compound annual growth rate of 29.2 percent during the forecast period.

The report noted that "the development of technologies like portable charging stations, smart charging with load management, automated payment technology and bi-directional charging is further expected to create new growth opportunities for the market over the forecast period."