Samsung and GM could jointly produce cylindrical EV batteries, report claims
According to rumors, cylindrical battery cells for electric vehicles will be provided by Samsung SDI to American automaker General Motors (GM).
Sources claim that the businesses will construct a combined manufacturing facility with a minimum 30 GWh yearly capacity.
The joint American facility will receive an investment of around $3.8 billion from the automaker and battery company.
According to unconfirmed sources cited by the Korean media outlet TheElec, the two businesses could sign a Memorandum of Understanding this week.
General Motors announced last month that it was willing to use all battery types, not just the pouch batteries it buys from LG Energy Solution.
Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, stated that the Ultium Platform's versatility in using any battery was one of its strengths.
Samsung SDI revealed last month that it aims to spend $32.8 billion over the next ten years to purchase the cathode needed in batteries to fulfill the supply agreement with the US automotive giant.
30-50 GWh joint facility
According to unofficial reports, the GM-Samsung SDI agreement will lead to the establishment of a joint venture factory in Michigan with a potential annual production capacity of 30 to 50 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of battery cells (enough for 300,000 to 500,000 BEVs, assuming 100 kWh/car). Such a factory would be expensive, perhaps even billions.
It will be fascinating to see if the changeover also necessitates the creation of a brand-new EV platform or if the Ultium platform is adaptable enough to support the new cell/module types or even cell-to-pack designs.
GM CEO Mary Barra said, "One of the strengths of the GM platform is the ability to use pouch, prismatic, and cylindrical battery cells," which is another sign that cylindrical battery cell rumors might be true.
Samsung SDI is the least aggressive South Korean battery manufacturer in terms of expanding on new customers and increasing its output capacity.
Yet, during his trip to Europe last year, Samsung Chairman Lee Jae-Yong met with Oliver Zipse, Chairman of BMW.
As a result, Samsung SDI has been actively increasing its spending to boost production.
To supply batteries to BMW, the company intends to construct a new factory close to its current one in Goed, Hungary.
According to insiders, Samsung SDI will also be looking to supply Volvo with its cylinder batteries. The company has increased its pace in electric vehicle battery making.