VW to alter battery plan as Samsung deal at risk

By BLOOMBERG

FRANKFURT • Volkswagen AG (VW) is reworking its battery- purchasing plan worth about €50 billion (RM234.5 billion) over concerns a supply deal with Samsung SDI Co Ltd might unravel, according to people familiar with the matter.

Samsung initially agreed to deliver batteries for just over 20GWh, enough to power 200,000 cars with 100kWh packs, before different views on production volume and schedule emerged during detailed negotiations, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the talks are confidential.

The impasse cut pledged supplies to less than 5GWh, they said.

“Samsung continues to be our battery cell supplier for Europe,” VW said in an emailed statement. Samsung declined to comment.

Access to vast amounts of batteries to power a growing number of electric vehicles (EVs) has emerged as a new battleground for global automakers amid capacity constraints, supply bottlenecks and limited access to raw materials. Producing batteries safe to use in cars is more complex compared to technology that’s used in consumer electronic devices like smartphones.

VW is spending €30 billion on the industry’s biggest push into EVs with a new range of purely battery-powered cars to challenge electric-car leader Tesla Inc.

VW’s electric rollout in the next 10 years translates into battery demand of more than 300GWh in Europe and Asia alone, outstripping current market capacities. — Bloomberg