Another day brings another report about an EV battery-related investment, which probably is something that we should be accustom to, considering the rapid expansion of the plug-in car market.
According to The Elec, Samsung SDI intends to expand its battery pack manufacturing capacity in Michigan, at the facility acquired in 2015 from Magna Steyr.
The South Korean company reportedly spent $62.7 million on the site and has been producing battery packs there since 2018 - currently at 100% capacity. Battery cells come from Samsung SDI's plant in Hungary.
However, because of the growing demand - specifically for Stellantis' plug-in hybrids (Jeep PHEVs and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid) - Samsung SDI is expected to add another battery pack production line. The report suggests that it could be another $30 million.
That's maybe not a large gigafactory (those usually costs a few billion), but another sign that the market is growing and expands in all directions, including existing battery pack assembly facilities.
Samsung SDI's biggest project in the US is the upcoming $2.5+ billion battery gigafactory in Kokomo, Indiana. It's a joint venture project with Stellantis. If everything goes as planned, production should start in the first half of 2025, while the initial production capacity will be 23 GWh annually.
Samsung SDI is supplying batteries to many other carmakers, including BMW. The company is developing 46xx round battery cells, which means that it might get a serious contract from BMW, or maybe also Tesla.
Besides prismatic cells in various sizes and new 46xx cylindrical cells, Samsung SDI offers also 2170-type cylindrical cells, which are used by Rivian in its Rivian R1T pickup and Rivian R1S SUV.
Considering that the plug-in sales expand towards mainstream levels and the strong trend to localize production of the most important elements (like batteries, chips and other advanced tech), it's probably just a matter of time when we will hear more about additional Samsung SDI projects in North America.