Image source: Samsung SDI
One of South Korea’s biggest battery makers, Samsung SDI, is reportedly looking to expand its battery cell manufacturing capabilities in the US to help meet growing demand for electric vehicles.
A confidential source told Reuters that the battery maker, a unit of Samsung Electronics, is considering a US factory as either a joint venture or as an independent manufacturing site.
The source also said Samsung SDI has been in talks with Stellantis NV and Ford Motor Company-backed EV startup Rivian about supplying them with batteries manufactured at a potential new US site.
According to Reuters, Samsung SDI is considering investing at least 3 trillion won ($2.62 billion) to make batteries for Stellantis and a minimum of 1 trillion won for Rivian’s batteries.
A company spokesperson told the outlet that it is “reviewing our expansion in the United States, but nothing has been decided yet.”
In April 2021, Business Korea reported that Samsung SDI was considering options including the expansion of an existing battery assembly plant in Michigan and building a new plant in the Sunbelt.
The company aims to move forward with construction in 2022 and have production up and running by 2025, the outlet reported.
Samsung SDI operates battery plants in South Korea, China and Hungary, which supply companies like Ford, The Volvo Group, Volkswagen and BMW, Reuters noted.
Samsung LDI’s rivals, LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation Co, have recently unveiled separate plans to manufacture EV battery cells in the US.
The moves to expand align with the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) tariff rules that went into effect last year, which require that vehicles have 75% North American content by 2025 in order for EV makers to be eligible for zero tariff benefits.
The threshold was 62.5% under the previous pact, 1994’s North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Source: Equities News