Lotte Chemical partners with US battery startup SOELECT to set up joint venture

By Park Sae-jin Posted : April 27, 2022, 11:12 Updated : April 27, 2022, 11:18

[Courtesy of Lotte Chemical]

SEOUL -- Lotte Chemical, a major chemical company in South Korea, has partnered with SOELECT, a North Carolina-based electric vehicle battery startup specializing in lithium metal batteries, to set up a joint venture. They have yet to make a decision on whether to build a lithium metal anode production plant in the United States.
Founded in 2018, SOELECT focuses on the development and production of lithium metal anodes which are considered the next-generation battery parts that will enhance the rapid-charging speed capabilities of batteries. Lotte Ventures, an affiliate of Lotte Chemical, participated in an $11 million investment project with GM Ventures, and Daol Investment (formerly known as KTB Network) in February 2022.
Lotte Chemical and SOELECT signed a memorandum of understanding to review a plan to set up a $20 billion, gigawatt-hour-class lithium metal anode production facility in the U.S. by 2025. Lithium metal anodes are more durable and reliable than ordinary battery anodes made of carbon and silicon. Because of their characteristics, Lithium metal anodes can withstand heat and electrochemical stress created during the battery's fast-charging process better than ordinary anodes.
"We will target the U.S. market that has a high dependency on foreign-made batteries," Lotte Chemical's advanced material division director Lee Young-joon said in a statement on April 27.  
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