According to The Elec's unofficial sources, the German manufacturer has selected Samsung SDI as a manufacturer of the cells and possibly also as a development partner.
Let's recall that Volkswagen Group intends to build (with partners) a total of six lithium-ion battery cell plants in Europe alone, with a total output of about 240 GWh annually (40 GWh per plant on average).
Volkswagen Group's plan is to switch most of the cars to the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) and unified prismatic cell format (with various battery chemistries).
So far two sites and partners were confirmed:
- Skellefteå, Sweden (Northvolt Ett) with Northvolt, production from 2023
- Salzgitter, Germany (formerly Northvolt Zwei with Northvolt) with Gotion High-Tech, production from 2025
- third site might be located in Spain to support SEAT/Cupra
At this point we don't know whether Samsung SDI will be involved in Europe or in other areas, including the U.S.
Most, if not all, of those battery investments are expected to be joint ventures between the Volkswagen Group and battery cell manufacturers.
According to The Elec, Volkswagen Group already was Samsung SDI's largest EV battery customer with a share of about 50%, followed by BMW Group (30%) and Stellantis (20%). A small new automotive customer is also Rivian (cylindrical cells - 2170 type).
Samsung SDI was also selected by the BMW Group for development of the next-generation cylindrical batteries.
A new contract with Volkswagen Group would be a major boost to Samsung SDI, whose battery business is not as big as CATL, LG Chem LG Energy Solution or Panasonic.