Edison Motors was considering buying Chinese battery maker eTrust Power, also known as Lixin Jinagu Energy Technology, TheElec has learned.
The company wants to secure a battery supply line as it is planning to mass-produce electric vehicles after it acquires SsangYong Motor, people familiar with the matter said.
Edison Motors was in talks with eTrust Power for the acquisition.
For the South Korean electric bus maker, if it has its own battery cell factory, it could give it more negotiating power when dealing with existing battery companies, one of the people said.
However, Edison Motors needs at least 50 billion won for the acquisition and is unable to acquire 100% of the shares of eTrust Power, so it is still reviewing the plan, they said.
Edison Motors could give up the acquisition plan and decide to build its own battery cell factory, the person said.
It was considering a factory with over 1GWh in annual production capacity and some regional governments in South Korea has offered support for the plan, they said.
A company spokesperson confirmed it was considering both options.
eTrust Power was formed in 2016 by China’s CITIC. It supplies its batteries to over 20 automobile companies including Edison Motors and BYD. It can manufacture LFP and NCM batteries.
However, the company going through bankruptcy proceedings as the Chinese government is reducing subsidies and the competition in the battery sector is intensifying. As of May, its asset was 1.689 billion yuan and it had a debt of 2.168 billion yuan.
Edison Motors had said it plans to launch 30 electric vehicle models by 2030.