The company got into the battery market thought its long-standing competence in materials sciences. LG Chem began a research and development effort in lithium ion technology in the mid 1990s. According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office, the company is responsible for over two thirds of patents and patent applications related to energy storage systems in Korea. That deep experience has given the company an edge in the automotive battery market. The company’s first product was a lithium-ion battery for a hybrid electric vehicle. In 2015, LG Chem is selling to more auto makers than any other electric vehicle battery producer. The other two leaders, Panasonic and AESC, are heavily dependent upon single customers - Tesla for Panasonic and Nissan for AESC.