CASA GRANDE — Lucid Motors announced this week a partnership with 2LG Chem to supply lithium-ion battery cells for the electric cars the company plans to build in Casa Grande.
LG Chem, a chemical company based in South Korea, has agreed to produce cylindrical cells that feature a unique, trademarked chemistry developed in partnership with the California-based electric car startup.
The announcement comes shortly after Lucid Motors made a deal with Samsung SDI to also supply lithium-ion cells for its vehicles. Both supply agreements are reportedly intended for the company’s first electric car, named Lucid Air, but the cells could be applicable for other products.
For example, the cells could be used for electric powertrains or battery packs that Lucid Motors has been producing for other car companies the last few years.
The company said the varying performance attributes between Samsung and LG Chem cells offers greater flexibility in choosing the best cell for each of its products.
“LG Chem’s lithium-ion cells are among the best on the market,” Albert Liu, Lucid’s director of battery technology, said in a press release. “We are pleased to have them as one of the suppliers of this critical component.”
Lucid announced last month its plan to build a $700 million manufacturing plant near Thornton and Peters roads on the western end of Casa Grande.
The Casa Grande City Council took some of its first actions related to the Lucid project during a meeting Monday night.
In a unanimous vote, the council agreed to partner with Pinal County to conduct a $534,000 design study for improvements to Thornton Road. The report will provide partial designs of potential improvements like widening the road to four lanes.
Casa Grande Public Works Director Kevin Louis said widening the road would not begin immediately after the report is completed. The study better prepares the city for making such an improvement when the time comes.
Lucid plans to break ground on its 500-acre plant site within the next year.
Louis added that the city was already planning to study these improvements before Lucid’s announcement. But the development made the city consider working with Pinal County, which is tied to the Lucid project since the county plans to buy the land Lucid will develop. Also, the project is along the edge of the city.
“Lucid Motors is changing the way we’re attacking this planned project,” Louis said.
According to the terms of the agreement, the city will pay $346,665 for the study and Pinal County would pay the remaining $187,884.
The council also held a public hearing on Monday regarding the city’s intention to annex 80 acres that will be incorporated into the Lucid project. The land consists of three parcels located near Thornton Road and Selma Highway.
Two people spoke during the public hearing, one of them being Nicholas Wood, an attorney representing Lucid, who thanked the council and city staff for working with his client on moving the project along.
Casa Grande City Attorney Brett Wallace said the city wants the annexation to happen regardless of what happens with the Lucid project. Casa Grande Councilman Dick Powell found the 80 acres integral to the city’s industrial region and said the land belongs within Casa Grande’s boundaries.
“That piece is essential and probably the most important piece of ground right now,” Powell said.
The council did not vote on annexing the land because that is scheduled for a later meeting. The council did authorize the city’s planning department to move forward with rezoning the 80 acres from Urban Ranch to General Industrial.