Automotive Fleet attended LG Electronics' opening of its first electric vehicle charger manufacturing factory in the United States. The company is now hitting the ground running on producing EV chargers at its Fort Worth, Texas, facility.
Dennis Carter, B2B EV Charger team leader at LG Electronics, said the company started to produce EV chargers on Jan. 15, just three days following the opening of its facility.
LG has developed owner-operated EV charging stations so that hotels, restaurants, venues, transit hubs, municipal buildings, and other locations are empowered to set their own rates, keep the profits that are generated, and ensure enough capacity to meet local demands, according to Michael Kosla, B2B vertical sales department leader.
LG Electronics Discusses Partnership Strategy
LG Electronics hasn’t yet publicly placed any EV charging stations, but Kosla outlined the company’s strategy for bringing on new partners.
“We’re No. 1 in market share in the hotel industry for displays going to guestrooms. We’re No. 1 in the healthcare industry for patient room displays. We have a very high market share and a really strong following from our customer base,” Kosla said. “Our strategy is to walk into the same customers that love us with our displays and now bring them a new product that they all need.”
According to Kosla, LG Electronics met with end-user partners and ChargePoint at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to discuss their appetite for charging stations.
To start, LG Electronics said that the Fort Worth facility can produce 10,000 Level 2 and 3 EV chargers per year for national distribution, citing that there is “way more room to add to it” in the future.
Carter broke down the installation process for these chargers, as it all starts with an electrical panel.
First, there must be capacity in the electric panel, then run a wire or wire from the electrical panel to wherever the site is of the EV charger, according to Carter. On an AC charger, it could go on the wall or it could go into a pedestal free standing in a parking lot. When you go on the DC, a concrete pad is needed. It’s the same on the DC except you're going to need a transformer because of the 480-volt going into the charging station.
The first products assembled in Fort Worth starting in January will be Level 2 AC Chargers with a load management solution and variable current settings enabling 11kW of output power through a standard SAE J1772 connector.
LG Electronics has orders in place for EV chargers already. The plan is to start shipping them out in February.
Beginning in the spring, the plant will assemble LG’s first Level 3 DC Charger, a stand-type model with a connected Power Bank that provides fast charging up to 175kW through CCS1 and NACS connectors.
Additionally, the company plans to produce 350kW ultra-fast chargers later this year.
LG Electronics Tackles EV Buyer Concerns
LG Electronics also addressed concerns about supplying electricity for vehicles. Carter said it shouldn’t be a problem with what the company already has in place.
“We do have battery storage,” Carter said. “We also have microgrids. We can actually go out and install charging stations and pull in battery technology or battery storage, and tie it into a solar panel to try to mitigate some of those challenges that might be out there so that we can supply electricity for vehicles in the marketplace.”
Texas residents voiced their concerns about EVs in a recent study from the University of Houston and Texas Southern University. The study showed that 46% of respondents said the scarcity of charging stations was the biggest reason they did not want an EV. Meanwhile, 38.2% said their main holdback is the higher purchase prices for the technology.
Potential partners for LG Electronics are also experiencing hesitancy to embrace EVs.
Carter said not every company is receptive to setting up a charging station on their property, but there is interest.
“Some people don't believe in the EV charging world. Some say it's going to go away someday,” he said. “But there are a lot of companies that are now putting this into their architecture and engineering design, building new buildings and making sure that they have a separate electrical panel for the entire EV infrastructure that they plan to build in the future.”
Originally posted on Automotive Fleet