Samsung would supply cells to Volkswagen
Samsung SDI is rumored to be producing part of the standardized battery cells for future electric cars announced by Volkswagen at Power Day. However, it remains to be seen what scope of development South Korean society will be responsible for.
This was reported by the portal The elec with reference to people familiar with the subject. According to the report, Samsung SDI will receive part of the production of the prismatic unit cell. Elec does not give any details on the possible start of production and delivery or on the agreed capacity.
Volkswagen announced the concept of the unitary cell in March. The format of the prism cell is always the same, but the cell chemistry is tailored to the respective vehicle models or segments. These cells are to be used in 80% of the electric cars of the VW group.
It is still unclear how much Samsung SDI will be involved in the development: here the elec just speculate. It is likely that Volkswagen will specify the specifications and functions of the unit cell, and Samsung SDI will then develop and manufacture the cells. However, this has not been confirmed. Like other car manufacturers, VW has developed battery cell know-how in recent years and also has stakes in two battery cell manufacturers.
It is also not known for which segment the unit cells of Samsung SDI will be used. What is known is that Northvolt will supply cells for high-end vehicles to the VW Group from 2023 – likely for vehicles from Audi and Porsche, for example.
Another Volkswagen battery partner for unit cells would be Gotion High-Tech. Gotion (instead of Northvolt) is the new partner of the Salzgitter cell factory, where unit cells for the volume segment are to be built from 2025. Additionally, it was reported in July that Gotion could also produce unit cells for VW in China. .
VW bought cells from Samsung competitors LGES and SKI
The report also does not contain information on the plant where the unit cells for VW are to be produced. VW had announced at Power Day that it would build six cell factories in Europe by 2030, each with a production capacity of 40 GWh. It also remains to be seen whether Samsung SDI will partner with one of the as yet unconfirmed European battery factories, or supply cells from one of its existing factories to the Wolfsburg-based company.
So far, Wolfsburg has bought its cells mainly from South Korean rivals Samsung, LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation. As reported days after “Power Day” in March, Volkswagen had told both companies days before the unit cell presentation that their current battery technology was largely excluded from the group’s future plans.
If Samsung SDI does win the Volkswagen order, the German automaker would become the South Korean company’s biggest battery customer. BMW currently accounts for around 30 percent of electric vehicle battery sales, with the Stellantis Group accounting for an additional 20 percent. In addition, Samsung SDI is the battery supplier for the American start-up Rivian. Volumes here are still manageable, but could increase.