With 400,000 pre-orders of its model 3, Tesla is looking beyond the Japanese lithium-ion battery maker Panasonic for its supply to ensure it can meet demand, reports the Korea Times.
Some Korean companies are also getting in on the act to supply materials for those batteries.
The US electric vehicle and energy storage firm is approaching Korean firms LG Chem, Samsung SDI and SK Innovation to source its batteries, said the report.
Panasonic is the exclusive provider of batteries for electric vehicles for Tesla, and has already sent employees to the Nevada ‘Gigafactory’, although capacity is not expected to be filled for at least three years after it begins production in 2017. said its sources believe LG Chem will win the Tesla business— the Korean firm previously supplying batteries for Tesla’s Roadster model, albeit in small volume.
“Tesla intends to use more Korean technology on its Model 3. Additionally, Tesla is testing the manufacturing capability and production of LG Chem, Samsung SDI and SK Innovation,” an official told the newspaper.
South Korea’s LS Mtron will supply copper foil for Panasonic’s batteries, reports Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea.
The company’s copper foil is up to 10 micrometres thick and serves as a negative electrode current collector.
LS Mtron won a deal in 2013 to develop copper foil for EV batteries by Panasonic, the first batch of which was delivered early this month following feasibility and safety tests by the Japanese company.
The deal makes LS Mtron only the second company after Japan’s Nippon Denkai able to supply the component to Panasonic.