Assault And Battery

Image source: rudall30 - Shutterstock

What's going on?

Stellantis announced this week that it’s planning to team up with Samsung to build a new EV battery plant.

What does this mean?

You probably know Stellantis, if not necessarily by name: the carmaker is the result of last year’s merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Peugeot. And as if committed to this aura of anonymity, it’s been slow to make itself relevant, selling just 400,000 electric vehicles last year. So now it wants to thrust itself into the spotlight: Stellantis has said it’s aiming to sell 5 million EVs a year by 2030, and for EVs to make up all of its European sales and half its North American sales by then too.

But to do that, it’s going to need enough batteries to power them. Cue a deal with LG Energy Solution in March, which involved building a $4.1 billion battery plant in Canada, And cue this deal with Samsung, which involves building a $2.5 billion battery plant in the US by 2025.

Why should I care?

The bigger picture: Don’t rely on China.
Stellantis knows the wind is blowing in one direction: analysts estimate that EVs made up more than 10% of all new vehicle sales last quarter, and they think that figure’s only going to keep rising. But there’s also speculation that the sudden uptick in demand will make carmakers even more dependent on China, which is the world’s biggest processor of – well, almost every material needed for battery production. That might be why battery powerhouses CATL and LG Energy Solution have collectively pledged $16 billion to build out the EV battery supply chain.

Zooming out: Even a conglomerate has hobbies.
EV batteries are small potatoes to Samsung: the conglomerate – whose businesses span everything from electronics to drugs – revealed plans this week to boost spending by over 30% to $360 billion over the next five years. It’ll use that massive investment to create next-gen microchips, develop more biotech products, and more.

Originally posted as part of the Finimize daily email.

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