Volkswagen has expanded its Asian network of electric vehicle battery suppliers to include South Korean manufacturer SK Innovation (SKI).
VW’s board member for procurement, Dr Stefan Sommer, said SKI would supply batteries along with South Korean peers LG Chem and Samsung, plus China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL).
All batteries supplied by the firms are for EVs based on VW’s ‘modular electric toolkit’ (see image)— cars in a variety of classes designed as fully-electric vehicles with ranges of up to 500 kilometres and more.
LG Chem, Samsung and SKI “will safeguard battery supplies from 2019 as strategic partners for Europe”, VW said. In addition, SKI will cover the group’s demand on the North American market from 2022.
CATL, nominated as strategic partner for China, will supply batteries for the group’s own electric fleet from 2019.
All suppliers are “strong partners for the long-term supply of cells”, Sommer said.
VW needs battery capacity in excess of 150 gigawatt-hours annually up to 2025 “just to equip its own electric fleet”. The car giant has already announced plans to put 50 new fully-electric models on the roads by 2025.
Last May, VW told BEST Battery Briefing it would build a pilot manufacturing plant for battery cells in Germany as part of a new corporate “centre of excellence”.
In August of this year, SKI announced plans to build a battery gigafactory in China’s Jiangsu Province by 2019, in a joint venture with BAIC Motor and Beijing Electronics. The factory is expected to produce 7.5GWh worth of battery cells each year.