VW Turns To SK Innovation As Cell Supplier For U.S. Electric Cars

Electric Cars


VW Group has officially announced it will rely on SK Innovation as its primary battery cell supplier for North American EVs.

In the EV space, it seems everyone wants to know where the heck these batteries are coming from. Panasonic, LG Chem, Samsung, CATL, and SK Innovation are some of the top dogs in the segment. When an automaker says it will produce a large number of EVs in a short time, the question becomes … where will it get all these cells?

Now, we have information that Volkswagen Group has chosen Korean battery maker SK Innovation (SKI) as another battery cell supplier for its future EV efforts. These batteries will be just some of those that are fitted into the company’s upcoming Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) platform.

Not only will SKI supply cells for North American vehicles, but it will also help with vehicles in Europe. Green Car Congress shares that this is a long-term agreement between VW and SKI. Volkswagen says that it is ramping up these suppliers to assure that it has access to the best technology and can live up to its promised, huge fleet of future EVs. Group Board Member responsible for Components and Procurement at VW AG Dr. Stefan Sommer says:

Within the framework of Roadmap E, the Volkswagen Group brands plan to bring 50 new full-electric models onto the roads by 2025. The Group needs battery capacity in excess of 150 GWh per year through 2025 just to equip its own electric fleet. That corresponds to an annual capacity of at least four “Gigafactories” for battery cells.

As previously reported, VW Group has also made ties with Samsung and LG Chem, but, at least at this point, those contracts are specifically for Euro-based models.

Source: Green Car Congress

Categories: Volkswagen


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49 Comments on "VW Turns To SK Innovation As Cell Supplier For U.S. Electric Cars"

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So VW can live up to their promises. 50 million evs, Oh brother.
Here’s a promise I would hope they would make and live up to.
No more stories about what they are going to do, unit they actually do something.

VW is about 6-8 years behind Tesla at this point. If Tesla can ramp up Model 3 and Model Y by 2021, it’ll be very hard to compete. Also VW needs to ramp up the tech on their cars mainly UI and Auto Pilot/Self Driving Auto Pilot that updates constantly. Its clear that tech orientated people not only wants electric cars but they also want the tech.

They got a heap of problems, not the least of which is they can’t their big-mouth CEO silent.
I think Tesla has probably 3 years minimum of a head start, but eventually the big behemoths will enter the market with compelling evs that make the grade. Yes, they have to be able to do OTA and at least come close to the AI/autopilot.

As far as VW, I could care less about the I.D. stuff but a 22k little runabout would be cool, something to put the Leaf to shame.
There is a lot of space in the ev stable for all different sorts of horses for all sorts of riding. Tesla can’t do it all, or even come close, so more entries are welcome.

A $22k runabout doesn’t have any need for OTA or AV capabilities.

OTA is not that special. Large trucks have had it for a decade at least.
Most EVs will have it too. At least all but the cheapest models.. But given how cheap electronics is, they will have it all.

Just about everything puts Leaf to shame except other Nissan/Renault EV. Aim a bit higher, how about stuff that puts Hyundai to shame. Then they can shoot for Bolt.

The Zoé’s a pretty decent mid-range car with the 41kWh battery. It’s a bit smaller than the Leaf, but WLTP range is 186mi, which would make an EPA-equivalent of ~165mi or so.

And you think VW just can’t buy self-driving tech/UI from other companies? That’s the benefit of being a very large manufacturer with cash to burn. Tesla had to do a lot in-house because they didn’t have the money to do otherwise. There are other players in the self-driving arena that are further along than Tesla.

Notvsure uf you’ve read about Dieselgate. Volkswagen nearly folded.

Volkswagen is very large. In 2015 they reached their goal of world’s largest automaker. Just weeks later they toppled from their throne. Dieselgate costing them well over 27 billion euros to date. Volkswagen still faces lawsuits in several countries and has yet to settle with thousands of efdected car owners.

Over 11 million VW TDI vehicles were found to have been equipped with emissions testing defeat devices.

While Volkswagen has again shown to be in the black again, they do not have “cash to burn” as you suggested. It’s lean and mean these days over at Wolfsburg, Germany. This is why I am so skeptical of all their EV promises and claims.

Not sure where you have been the last 2 years. VW really can’t complain about sales or money.
And they never “nearly folded”.

Sure the 27 billion made a dent. But it will take alot more to make them fold. Back in 2015 it was said that it would take at least 70 billion for them to start having to sell stuff. And so far they seem to be going upwards again.

“Tesla had to do a lot in-house because they didn’t have the money to do otherwise.” Right, doing things in-house for lack of money. Your idea of economics is revolutionary.

Most of the car buying population are not “tech oriented” and won’t care.

OTA is part of the MEB platform, so they for sure have it. Telsa + Self-driving? I only hear big claims and no delivery. While Tesla is claiming Waymo and Daimler and GM and also VW are actually delivering. Waymo is already starting their ride-hailing service, Daimler will follow suit mid of next year. And where is Tesla?

These are demo projects at best. They are all years away from generic self-driving.

VW’s volume models will be in a different price segment, and should be very competitive there. Model 3 and Y won’t bother them much, no matter how successful they are.

In one year timeline we will see the beginning of new era for electric car industry. As all the big automaker plan to launch new cars.

I sure hope so, but I’ve been disappointed before (notably 2015/2016).

How quickly we forget….will this time be different? Sadly, all of this is cheap talk. A recession to hits next year and all these plans go out the window.

Actually a recession could accelerate their EV plans, it’s easier to fire people and make cuts to their current core business during economic downturns.

Plans are not equal to launches. And VW lied about their EV plans for years.

A bit more than a year until VW’s first serious offering; and others makers are further out than that. I think it will be more like 2 – 3 years before things might start moving for good…

Here’s an idea. If it bothers you so much, don’t read it

It’s just communication strategy. You should measure VW group on whether the launch the etron later this year as promised and the ID early 2020. So far the have not broken any EV promises, but have also not shown that they can deliver.

Take Tesla, they have broken several promises, but ultimately have delivered now. It’s not all that simple.

That “communication strategy” has been going on for some time.


“The bold claim came not from an offhand comment by an executive at this week’s Frankfurt Auto Show, but in a press release announcing that the VW Group had set its “sights on market leadership in electric mobility by 2018.”

“We are starting at exactly the right time,” said Group CEO Martin Winterkorn before the show.

“We are electrifying all vehicle classes, and therefore have everything we need to make the Volkswagen Group the top automaker in all respects, including electric mobility, by 2018.”

They totally changed their plans in 2016, and seem to be sticking to those.

They actually started working on MEB in 2015, if that’s what you mean…

They also meant hybridization. And regarding that, they are well positioned.

And they’re just releasing their first proper ground up BEV (the eTron)

By all accounts it’s not really a “proper ground up BEV”. The Taycan and the ID. Neo seem to be the first ones truly from the ground up.

They already delivered their first MEB car: the Pikes Peak racer that broke all records this year. I was driving already the Q6 e-tron, so there shouldn’t be much doubt that the car is finally coming as is the Porsche Taycan (Mission-E) next year. From there on it will go very quickly pushing out new models in a matter of months rather than years.

The Taycan won’t see deliveries before 2020 last I heard.

(And the I.D. R Pikes Peak is neither a MEB platform car, nor has it been “delivered”…)

You are sure it is not based on the MEB platform’s drive train? Where did you get that info from?

Regarding Taycan: the car will be presented at the IAA in 2019. First deliveries end of 2019 or beginning 2020. A few months really don’t matter. What matter is that a scale-able production site for the Taycan has already been built and that the Mission E Cross Turismo will come shortly after the Taycan.

150 GWh per year by 2025 means ~2.35 million EVs per year with same capacity as Hyundai Kona (64 KWh). At 60 KWh per car it will be 2.5 million EVs per year. It’s about 20-25% of their 2017 total sales.

I believe these plans will keep changing over next 2-3 years and they will be needing to advance their plans. Once the EVs take 10% of market share in major countries like US, China, UK, Germany etc… all the major companies will be forced to accelerate their EV roadmaps.

“50 new full-electric models onto the roads by 2025”, and that’s just Volkswagen! All the progress in the electric vehicle market we have seen in the last five years is going to pale in comparison to the next five years. It’s obvious that Volkswagen is positioning itself to become a leader in the EV market and I hope they succeed.

I don’t understand why they need so many different models at this point. Seems like they should focus on fewer models with higher volume.

They have the electric models for Skoda, Seat, Audi, and more.

Because the global automobile market is extremely segmented and the best way to maxmimize margin is to have platforms that can be easily adapted to niches but still maintain economics of scale. That’s exactly what they are trying to achieve with the MEB platform. All these cars are going to be very similar from an internal component and technology point of view, but look differently and cater to different customers. It’s exactly what VW has done with the MQB platform for their ICE cars.

People like choices.

VW Group consists of 10+ brands (Audi, VW, Porsche, Skoda, Seat, ….) with shared platforms. They need to serve all brands, which are not equally represented by geography or market segment. They serve their high volume segments by launching the ID – the Golf is the European most sold hatchback

Funny. Thought Elon didn’t like the tax credit?

Elon doesn’t like the tax credit but if the government is going to continue to subsides the fossil fuel industry. What are you gonna do.

Looks Like VW will be gobbling up a lot of the global battery supply. This will make it harder for other manufacturers to scale up their EV efforts.

To some extend, I agree. There is another perspective on this, which is not supposed to be an argument against what you said: VW is not buying existing battery supply, but coming battery supply. So from that point of view it’s not like they are depleting an existing market, but helping suppliers get up to speed, i.e. building factories just for VW and thus creating their own supply for their demand. Regarding manufacturing capacity, that is also something other car makers could do. Just go to Samsung and say: “Hey, we need tons of batteries for the next 5 years and have deep pockets. Please take our money and just copy-paste whatever infrastructure you built for VW.” This chains down to the suppliers of Samsung for the machines and so on. But all that might be possible with enough time and enough cash up front.
Where this won’t work that “easily” (I think) is regarding resources (for example Cobalt, to name the most prominent one).

Everyone has probably hear of dieselgate well there’s a gasolinegate also, apparently BP, Chevron and the EPA colluded use fake tests samples to make in look like ethanol is harmful to the environment when in fact it isn’t. In reality the aromatics added by refiners are to increase octane, are expensive and are know cariogenic.
The oil industry will go to unbelievable extents and spare no expensive to hold on to there grip buying the entire GOP congress.
Hopefully the House Democrats can hold those involved accountable and cut he head off the snakes. Lock up some CEO’s and the individuals at the EPA, that working for the oil industry instead of protecting the citizens and the environment.


You should use the ID Crozz as the header image, given that the ID hatchback won’t be released in the US.

Don’t worry, nobody knows whether it will be released in Europe as well.

But wait: VW is already world’s leader in EV production. CEO Winterkorn promised it in 2013: “We are electrifying all vehicle classes, and therefore have everything we need to make the Volkswagen Group the top automaker in all respects, including electric mobility, by 2018.”

Well, he is not CEO any more… Go figure 😉