Volkswagen is pushing electric mobility and has to find batteries in order to scale up. After joining forces with CATL in China just days ago, the Germans have now turned to Korea, where VW announced a new partnership with LG Chem and Samsung SDI.
The announcement comes barely a week after it became known that Volkswagen was entering business with China’s CATL, as well as the addition of a series of new factories set around the globe. Overall, Volkswagen is said to have earmarked 20 billion euros for those battery deals and is to announce partners for the North American market soon as well.
Volkswagen, that wants to issue 30 electric cars across all brands by 2025 according to the Roadmap E, could be seen trying to push its weight around lately. For this latest deal with Korea, Business Korea reported of a “rumour is going around that Volkswagen requested that the battery supply price be pulled down to 100 dollars or less per 1 kWh lower than the unit price of batteries supplied to General Motors,” quoting an industry insider. This is the reason why SK Innovation did not take part in the bidding allegedly.
Such demands for competitive pricing had led to Volkswagen failing to secure a deal for cobalt supply last year, despite the corporation waging its expected order volume of up to 3 million EVs a year (we reported).
Yet, Korean battery makers have looked to Europe lately, particularly since China changed its policies in 2016, making it harder if not impossible for the likes of LG Chem and Samsung to sell their cells in the People’s Republic.
SK Innovation has broken ground for a battery facility in Hungary recently. In September 2017, LG Chem also announced to invest further 387m dollars in its Polish factory in Wroclaw. The company opened the plant there in 2016.