Tesla and Samsung are talking about expanding their battery partnership, industry officials have told the Korea Times.
“With Tesla seeking to diversify its battery sourcing channels beyond its key partner Panasonic, Samsung SDI will have greater room to supply more EV batteries to Tesla,” said an unnamed source. Samsung is expected to supply about 8 percent of Tesla’s battery demand this year, and that may increase to as much as 40 percent in 2016, according to another source.
A spokesman for Samsung SDI said that nothing has been decided yet.
Elon Musk recently said that he expects to be selling “a few million EVs a year” by 2025. There are rumors of plans for new factories in Europe and/or Asia. If all this comes to pass, Tesla will surely need additional battery partners.
In this week’s shareholder letter, Tesla said its Gigafactory will begin battery pack production in 2016. Mark Newman at Bernstein Research told the Korea Times that “some of the battery demand within the project could be allocated to different partners, for which we believe Samsung SDI remains well positioned on the basis of both technology and capacity.”
Samsung, which supplies batteries for the BMW i3 among other vehicles, had about 7.2 percent of the global EV battery market in 2014.
Source: Korea Times