Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
SEOUL, KOREA - As the BMW i3 electric car is selling well, Samsung SDI is benefiting quietly. The Korean company is an exclusive supplier of batteries used in the i3.
The number of pre-orders made in Germany alone is over 10,000. A BMW Korea official said, "We are aware that the headquarters office is having difficulties meeting orders from the beginning. Nevertheless, the launch in Korea in May next year will be held as planned." The annual production capacity for the i3 is estimated at 40,000.
In response to the brisk sale of the electric car model, Samsung SDI will kick off the operation of its No. 3 production line in Ulsan within this month, following the full operation of No. 2 plant last month. The company began operations of its first battery plant last year.
A company official said that the demand for its electric car batteries is rising fast due to the recent launch of the BMW i3 as well as that of the Chrysler (Fiat) 500 EV in June this year. Other electric car makers such as Tesla Motors, Ferrari, and Porsche are expected to use batteries manufactured by Samsung SDI. Park Sang-jin, Samsung SDI president, said, "By 2015 we will be able to make more than 1 trillion won from automotive batteries alone."