Electric carmaker Tesla could implicate South Korean battery producer Samsung SDI as an additional supplier – as the Californian producer is tackling the problems of expansion and introduction of additional models.
Both companies confirmed they are indeed engaged in discussions about supplying battery technology to Tesla, the maker of the best-selling U.S. electric car, the premium Model S sedan.
Kim Sang-eun, a Seoul-based spokesman for Samsung SDI, declined to provide further details because the talks are not finished. “Nothing has been decided,” Kim pointed out. Tesla’s Palo Alto based spokeswoman, Liz Jarvis-Shean, also confirmed the two firms were in discussions but noted that Tesla was also engaged in negotiations with other battery suppliers.
“We continually evaluate best (battery) cells and technologies from all manufacturers,” Jarvis-Shean said.
The news came as shares in Samsung SDI also fell as much as 3.7 % on Friday, after a video of a burning Tesla electric car sent the automaker’s shares down. US emergency officials said the fire occurred in the electric vehicle’s lithium-ion battery, which sums as the latest in a series of problems for the batteries, which are now widely present in electric vehicles sold by various automakers.
For Tesla, the deal is today a must since it only has one primary supplier of battery technology, Japan’s Panasonic, for the Model S, while next year the company is expected to start selling the next offering, the Model X crossover.