South Korea's SK Innovation defeated its bigger, major competitor LG Chem to a multi-billion dollar deal in 2018 to provide electric vehicle batteries to German carmakers Volkswagen in the U.S.
SK Innovation (SKI) broke ground with great acclaim in March at a $1.7 billion factory in Commerce, Georgia, some 200 km from VW's Chattanooga site, which is the U.S. automakers ' center for electric vehicles.
7 months fast forward and the two companies have charged each other with U.S. battery patent infringement lawsuits in a vicious dispute that jeopardizes to delay the releases of electric vehicles (EVs) from some of the world's largest carmakers.
U.S. court filings checked by Reuters indicate that feuding companies were trying to prevent each other from exporting and distributing VW Ev batteries in Tennessee, along with GM's Bolt Ford pickups Jaguar's I-Pace, Audi's e-Tron, & Kia Motor's Niro batteries.
The potential of the Korean companies to provide car manufacturers in the U.S. with batteries is at risk just as the car manufacturers are struggling to lock in suppliers of lucrative contracts ahead of an anticipated surge in demand, according to court filings from both firms and several industry experts.
According to Korea's battery industry tracker SNE Research, the demand for EV batteries-the most costly and essential component in EVs-is set to grow by 23 percent a year to hit $167 billion by 2025, making it larger than the worldwide memory chip sector, which is estimated to be worth $150 billion by then.
In the court filing, LGC claimed its competitor poached staff working on its own plan to supply VW's MEB electric vehicle technology batteries-and that SKI only secured the Volkswagen deal as it had misused trade secrets.
The SKI spokesperson stated there is no adjustment to the factory's timetable that will have the potential to manufacture batteries for over 200,000 EVs annually. He said that without elaborating, SKI had received questions from consumers about the cases and whether they would have an effect on supplies.
LGC said the final verdict on the case will be made on Oct. 5 next year, but earlier this month it asked the ITC to quickly make a so-called default judgment against SKI.
Tags : Electric Vehicles, Battery, Factory,