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Samsung SDI's not about to let Panasonic have all the battery-factory fun

The tech titan has pledged over $300 million to build a battery factory that would supply electric vehicles.


It won't be as pie-in-the-sky as Gigafactory, but Samsung's new battery factory could give it a big advantage in courting European suitors.

Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

Maybe you've heard of this little thing called the Gigafactory, the multibillion-dollar collaboration between Panasonic and Tesla that will result in a positively massive lithium ion battery factory. Well, Panasonic's not the only company preparing for our electrified future -- Samsung's about to get in on the action, as well.

Samsung SDI, the tech giant's energy arm, plans to invest around $350 million in a battery factory in Hungary, Reuters reports. It's setting up shop in Europe in an attempt to get ahead of European manufacturers' desire for EV batteries, as demand for electric vehicles grows.

Samsung SDI already supplies batteries to BMW, and a new plant in Hungary could put the company in a perfect location to meet future demand. Currently, BMW's batteries are built in South Korea, adding a layer of complexity with the logistics required to ship batteries to Europe. The company also has a factory in China, but Reuters claims "subsidy regulations" have slowed down sales in The Middle Kingdom, currently the world's largest EV market.

Panasonic and Samsung SDI aren't the only companies cashing in on the future of the automotive industry. LG Chem is moving to build a plant in Poland for the same reason -- courting European automakers. LG Chem currently supplies batteries for the forthcoming Chevrolet Bolt EV.

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