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Battery shortage at Samsung: danger for VW's electrical plans?

Samsung can only deliver 25 percent
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V olkswagen and Samsung do not confirm it, but insiders are certain: VW's plans to buy batteries from Samsung are at risk. The deal is worth 50 billion euros - and could now burst. This is reported by the business news service Bloomberg.

Samsung is said to have agreed to supply batteries with a total storage capacity of just over 20 gigawatt hours. VW could have equipped 20,000 cars with a 100 kilowatt hour battery each. Even during the negotiations, clearly different ideas about the delivery schedule were revealed. In the period planned by VW, the Samsung delivery commitment with five gigawatt hours should be only a quarter of the originally desired capacity.

The most expensive component of an electric car: the lithium ion battery (here a battery from the Nissan Leaf).

Battery production is often a bottleneck

Battery production is often the bottleneck in the manufacture of electric cars. There is limited access to raw materials and building a car battery is complex. The competition between car manufacturers in terms of electric cars is also a battle for the largest battery production capacities. Overall, VW is to require batteries with a total capacity of 300 gigawatt hours per year, which is currently only available from several suppliers at the same time.

At the beginning of May 2019, VW and the Swedish start-up Northvolt AB announced a project: You want jointly invest one billion euros in a battery cell factory in Germany. So far, both German car manufacturers and large German suppliers had regularly refused to produce their own cells in Germany. The VW cell factory is said to have batteries with a total capacityof ten gigawatts. A final decision on the construction should be made this year.

The production of lithium ion batteries for cars is said to be more complex than, for example, the production of mobile devices (here the battery of the new Mercedes EQC).

VW has to find a solution

If the rumors prove to be true, VW might have a serious battery shortage. Finding a supplier for the missing 15 gigawatt hours of battery capacity on the fly will be very difficult. VW also emphasizes that they are sticking to Samsung as a battery supplier.

Gregor Hebermehl
There are also special fire extinguishers for vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries.

VW In Europe, not only Samsung, but also the Korean companies LG Chem and SK Innovation have come on board as battery suppliers. In China, the largest Chinese lithium-ion battery manufacturer delivers Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) and in North America SK Innovation is to help again. Battery manufacturers are making huge investments in the hope of huge profits. The competition among each other has broken out: LG Chem has sued SK Innovation in the USA for alleged theft of secrets, a judgment is still pending.


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