In the United States, the South Korean tech giant Samsung SDI is looking for joint venture electric vehicle battery plants with two global automakers.
The total plant cost is approximately US$8 billion which Samsung SDI is looking to invest US$4bn. “This large investment plan suggests a change in Samsung Group’s conservative attitude toward the EV battery business”, analysts say.
The demand for batteries is regularly increasing in the United States. The two top companies that joined hands with Samsung are General Motors (GM) and Volvo, a Swedish car brand taken over by Geely Motors of China.
The two companies plan to build a plant with an annual production capacity of about 50GWh, which is enough to power about 670,000 electric vehicles with a driving range of 500 km. Samsung SDI and GM will each invest about US$2 billion.
For your information, the step was first initialized by GM. In particular, this joint venture is expected to offer a glance of GM’s next-generation battery strategy.
GM has thus far received pouch-type batteries from LG Energy Solution. Samsung SDI does not make this type of battery. It is focusing on prismatic and cylindrical batteries. This may signal a change in GM’s battery form factor strategy. The types of batteries to be produced at the joint plant have not yet been confirmed. However, industry insiders speculate that the plant will roll out prismatic batteries. GM officials who visited Korea in June reportedly showed a great interest in the production process for prismatic batteries.
Apart from the Samsung-GM venture. Samsung SDI is also looking venture with Volvo, which is expected to be announced in December 2022.
The area will be similar to that of the Samsung-GM and the companies will invest about $2 billion in the joint plant to produce 50GWh of batteries a year. Volvo is pursuing its complete transition to an EV brand by 2030.
Volvo is known to adopt cylindrical batteries in the future. It used prismatic batteries for the EX90. Samsung SDI produces both type of batteries, making it Volvo’s optimal battery partner in the U.S. electric vehicle market.