LG Buys Way Into EV Charging Station Solutions, With Eyes On Custom, Screen-Included Stations
June 28, 2022 by Dave Haynes
LG Electronics has acquired a South Korean electric vehicle (EV) charger solutions provider called AppleMango, with its eye on developing charging stations that in some or many cases will get paired with outdoor-rated information displays that instruct usage but also open up monetization opportunities.
The acquisition is a joint venture with a pair of companies – GS Energy and GS Neotek.
This strategic move, combined with LG’s own expertise and wealth of experience in both B2C and B2B segments, will enable the company to create fully-featured charging stations boasting a user-friendly interface and real-time control/management. LG continues to strengthen its EV charging solution business leveraging its exceptional digital signage technologies – specifically, its IP-rated outdoor digital display with sturdy, dust- and water-proof enclosure.
Established in 2019, AppleMango has developed proprietary technologies and systems, including a slim, fast charger, to meet the rising global demand for EV charging solutions. In addition to the company’s market-leading charging tech, LG will secure access to the necessary operational infrastructure by working closely with GS Energy and GS Neotek. Both GS companies have considerable experience in operating EV charging stations and related businesses.
The new acquisition will help LG to become an integrated solutions provider, bringing together its new charger development capabilities and existing in-house-developed EV charging management system. Moreover, the move is expected to create synergy with LG’s ongoing efforts in the area of vehicle components, including the development and supply of EV batteries and adjacent products, such as energy storage system (ESS) and energy management solutions.
“The EV charging market is expected to grow rapidly due to the surging demand for more eco-friendly vehicles,” said Paik Ki-mun, senior vice president of LG Electronics Business Solutions Company. “Leveraging our know-how and experience in the B2B sector, we will offer customized, integrated vehicle charging solutions for diverse customers, enhancing the competitiveness of our existing business and ensuring our readiness for future opportunities.”
LG now boasts a comprehensive EV business portfolio, with the recently-launched EV charging solution business joining other LG-owned concerns, including the LG Vehicle component Solutions (VS) Company, ZKW Group and the LG Magna e-Powertrain joint venture. This year, LG will establish an EV charger production line at LG Digital Park in South Korea, and aims to provide customized charging solution for various settings, such as private residences, shopping malls, hotels and public institutions, in the near future.
Certainly the huge spike in fuel pump prices has elevated the interest and adoption in fully electric vehicles, and a big increase in EVs on roadways also requires a big increase in public charging infrastructure. So charging stations in the lots of frequently visited, busy places like malls and groceries are going to be needed.
Several of the specialty display companies that have been focused in recent years on digital OOH street furniture and “smart city” displays are now adding EV charging stations to their product lines. LG itself was showing one at Infocomm earlier in the month.
It’s an interesting move for the company, which clearly sees some serious scale to the opportunity. But it is one of those cases in which numerous custom display companies that are building charging stations that include displays could or will find themselves competing with the company that it now uses to supply outdoor-rated displays. That said, the two big Korean display companies are backing off LCD as core products because of lower cost competition from Chinese manufacturers and the shift from LCD to LED.