Stellantis has now officially confirmed plans to establish another joint venture in North America for the production of battery cells and modules. In addition to a corresponding cooperation with LG Energy Solution, Stellantis also wants to build a new battery factory in North America with Samsung SDI, as previously leaked.
As Stellantis now announces, this factory is to go into operation in 2025 and have an initial production capacity of 23 gigawatt hours per year, which can be increased to up to 40 GWh in the future. However, the joint venture has not yet been established; currently, the two companies have only signed a letter of intent to form such a joint venture “for the production of battery cells and modules for North America”.
The fact that such a factory is likely to exist was already indicated by insider reports at the beginning of this week. However, no details about the timetable and production capacities were revealed at that time.
This means that the planned battery factory of Stellantis and Samsung SDI has quite similar key data as the parallel project with LG Energy Solution. According to the announcement, this factory is also expected to produce up to 40 GWh per year, but it will go into operation in the first quarter of 2024.
Both battery plants, whose locations are not yet known, are to cover the demand of the Stellantis assembly plants in the USA, Canada and Mexico. This is not just about “next-generation electric vehicles”, but also plug-in hybrids. In presenting its electric strategy, Stellantis had set the goal of generating more than 40 per cent of its sales in the US with electrified vehicles by 2030. As part of its ‘EV Day’ in July, Stellantis had already announced several electric vehicle models from its US brands.
“With the forthcoming battery plants coming online, we will be well positioned to compete and ultimately win in the North American electric vehicle market,” said Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis. “Our strategy to work with highly recognized partners boosts the speed and agility needed to design and build safe, affordable and sustainable vehicles that match exactly what our customers demand. I am thankful to all the teams working on this critical investment in our collective future.”
In his statement, Young-hyun Jun, President and CEO of Samsung SDI, described it as an honour to establish a battery joint venture with Stellantis. “With this battery joint venture, we will do our best to meet the high standards of our customers in the North American EV market leveraging Samsung SDI’s battery technology, high quality products and safety measures,” he said.
Stellantis stresses that the transaction itself is still subject to “final documentation and customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals”.
Since the proposed battery plant is to be operated by the two companies’ joint venture, it appears to be a Stellantis-exclusive cell manufacturing facility. There is no mention of possible supply to third-party customers. This battery plant is thus likely to be in addition to Samsung SDI’s possible US plant. Rumours to this effect surfaced in July. At that time, however, the South Korean company’s possible US plant was mainly associated with Rivian, which, as is well known, obtains its round cells from Samsung SDI. Consequently, the town of Normal in the US state of Illinois, where Rivian’s first vehicle plant is located, was already being discussed as a location.
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