South Korean battery maker Samsung SDI will supply batteries for next generation electric vehicles manufactured by Audi, according to industry sources on Sept. 4.
This marks the first time the Samsung unit provided batteries for an EV, and the second in terms of Volkswagen Group, which sells cars under brands such as Audi Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Porsche. So far, Samsung SDI has supplied Audi’s plug-in hybrid EVs and the e-Golf.
Samsung SDI will be supplying batteries for the premium platform electric EV platform in cars sold in Europe, together with China’s CATL, for both sedans and SUVs. For China-bound EVs, Audi is reportedly in talks with BYD.
Audi is currently producing its first mass-produced electric car, the e-tron, from its factory in Belgium. LG Chem was scheduled to supply them with battery cells, but there has been a disruption, causing Audi to cut down on production from 55,830 units to 45,242 units. Factories are currently running just 8 hours a day.
This is partly why Samsung SDI – which has a factory in Hungary – and CATL – which has a factory in Germany – were chosen for the Europe-bound EVs, according to market sources close to the matter.
In 2016, Samsung SDI signed a battery supply contract with Porsche, which is pondering whether to apply SDI’s batteries to its Macan EV, which is built on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) electric construction kit from Audi and Porsche.
joining the Volkswagen Group in 2008, Porsche has been sharing some of its high-end and SUV platforms with Audi, such as in the Audi A7 and the SUVs Q5 and Q7. This means Audi could share the batteries supplied to Porsche’ new EVs, giving Samsung SDI more contracts.
The Samsung unit has recently making strides as an EV battery maker. The company is currently providing cylindrical batteries to Jaguar Land Rover, and is looking to partner with Xiaopeng Motors – known as China’s Tesla – and Chongqing Jinkang Motor.
For LG Chem, however, this could spell bad news. While Samsung SDI, CATL, BYD all supply square-type batteries, which carmakers like Audi prefer. The LG unit supplies mainly pouch-type batteries.
But Porsche may use LG Chem batteries for its sportscar, the Taycan, along with Volkswagen that is considering LG batteries for its EV platform, the MEB.
The Elec is South Korea’s no.1 tech news platform.