With an increasing number of car manufacturers shifting their focus to EVs, the EV battery market is getting really busy. On this exciting highway towards electrification, two significant players - Stellantis and Samsung SDI - are stepping on the proverbial gas.
Following the announcement of their StarPlus Energy joint venture in May 2022, Stellantis and Samsung SDI have decided to further expand their collaboration. They're now plotting the blueprint for a second lithium-ion battery production facility in the United States. Just like in a suspenseful thriller, the exact location remains a tantalizing mystery, but the companies promise to unveil it soon. Production at this yet-to-be-unveiled location is expected to commence around 2027.official ceremony in Kokomo where the first battery plant is being built
Let's dial back a bit. If you remember, the StarPlus Energy project aimed to establish a battery plant in Kokomo, Indiana, with an impressive $2.5 billion investment. This Kokomo plant was initially expected to output 23 GWh per annum, but ambition knows no bounds, so they've upped that figure to 33 GWh. Now, with the second plant targeting 34 GWh annually, Stellantis and Samsung SDI are upping their game considerably.
With all the hyped-up press releases and all, you may want to keep your skepticism handy. These figures and promises are drawn from a memorandum of understanding, which - in the land of corporate speak - leaves plenty of room for adjustment. Translation? These figures are aspirations, not necessarily set in stone, and the devil will be in the details as the plan unfolds.
Speaking of devils and details, Stellantis is currently investing heavily in EV battery production in North America. As part of the "Dare Forward 2030" electrification plan, the aim is for half of the new vehicles sold in North America to be fully electric, not just plug-in hybrids. Europe will go the full mile, with 100% of Stellantis vehicles being electric - in less than seven years. To achieve this ambitious plan, Stellantis would need a whopping 400 GWh of battery capacity. No wonder they're busy planning these new facilities!Work at the Kokomo plant is already underway
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares offered his vision, stating that the new facility will help meet the bold target of offering 25 new battery-electric vehicles in North America by the end of the decade. Meanwhile, Samsung SDI CEO Yoon-ho Choi highlighted that the second plant would fortify their presence in North America and aid the transition to an era of electric vehicles.
While all these electrifying developments paint a bright future, let's not forget the looming questions. What will this new plant cost? How will it contribute to the carbon neutrality commitment by 2038? And the million-dollar question - or should we say a billion-dollar question - where will it be located?