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Rumored 200-mile EV confirmed to be on the way for 2016 – but who will make it?

The Korean battery maker LG Chem has announced that it will supply the battery for a 200-mile electric vehicle in 2016. Which automaker signed the contract?

Automakers are well aware of the range limitations of their battery electric vehicles. Tesla remains the only company to mass produce an EV with an EPA-rated range above 103 miles, and the price point of Model S places it beyond the reach of the masses.

We now have confirmation, however, that at least one automaker has made significant strides in boosting range. LG Chem CFO Cho Suk-jeh told Reuters last week that his company will supply the battery for a 200-mile electric vehicle in 2016, without disclosing the automotive partner in the agreement.

The all-important 200 mile barrier

It is no secret that car companies are targeting an electric vehicle with 200 miles of range and an attainable MSRP. Former GM CEO Dan Akerson was quite bold in proclaiming a future 200-mile EV from General Motors to fight the Tesla Model III, which will manage 200 miles on a charge and start in the mid-$30,000 range.

Nissan has similar goals and almost certainly will be offering significantly increased range when it launches the next-gen Nissan LEAF.

Last September, GM VP Doug Parks indicated that his company is by no means alone in the race to 200 miles. “The real trick will be who can do a 200-mile car for more of the price range [$30,000] I’m talking about,” Parks told the AP. “We’re all in races to do that.”

To which automaker does this 200-mile EV belong?

This particular deal most likely concerns a GM vehicle. The company has been the most vocal about its plans for a 200-mile EV and is quite serious about electrification. Inside EVs broke down the list of automakers that contract with LG Chem for batteries, but GM seems to be the most likely candidate.

Of course, Nissan is also a possibility. But their next big move in the EV industry will be the 2017 model year LEAF, which will be the launch of the second generation. It is improbable that Nissan will achieve 200 miles of range with a redesigned LEAF, even with an improved battery. A true 200-mile EV for Nissan will probably be another year or two down the road.

For the record, our money is on a new ground-up battery electric vehicle from Chevrolet. We will find out soon enough, so stay tuned here at Torque News for all your EV updates.


mike w (not verified)    July 21, 2014 - 7:23PM

The only "serious" candidates are GM, Tesla, Nissan and Toyota. Nissan makes their own batteries with their own cells. Tesla seems committed to it award winning packs and is planning a "Gigga factory". Toyota seems to be working on a solid state lithium battery of their own manufacture. So I'm going to go with GM and their long rumored 200 mile EV. If memory serves me correctly it will come from the same factory as the Volt.

John T (not verified)    July 22, 2014 - 10:11AM

GM's previous claim of a 200mi Volt was based on the Envia vaporware. Given how anemically they have supported their only pure EV (the Spark ), I can't imagine GM being fully committed to a larger pure EV.

Aaron Turpen    July 22, 2014 - 1:25PM

You left out Infiniti. Nissan has made it clear that Infiniti will be producing a luxury EV in the very near future and it's only a best guess that it will use Nissan's batteries, since the company has been going independent on a lot of things lately.

Bob Foss (not verified)    August 1, 2014 - 8:34PM

Mercedes has announced its B Class Electric SUV coming Fall 2014 will use Tesla batteries. There is talk that Tesla will let Mercedes customers use its nationwide charging stations as well...currently a free service. Here in Nevada, Tesla is testing a site for its battery plant, along with a few other states. I think VW will make its own batteries for the e-Golf.