The EV-maker Polestar entered into an agreement with the South Korean tech company SK Inc. to co-develop electric performance cars and new battery systems in two companies. The Polestar 2 is currently sold by one all-electric model, a collaboration between Volvo and Geely, while the Polestar 2, an electric crossover, Polestar 3 will be followed.
Although the relationship between Volvo and Polestar – and their EV line-up – was initially somewhat confusing, Polestar focused on electrical efficiency, with Volvo being one of a number of options. However, the two automakers have clear overlaps, since the Geely-owned brands are capable of making the cost savings involved.
This new MoU could, however, add a little more distance between Polestar and SK Inc. The agreement is still in the early stages, but the two companies say they will “appraisal possible cooperation” across EV battery, battery-related systems and semiconductors. “Possible commercial opportunities, such as supply of batteries for future vehicles, will also be included,” says Polestar.
There is no guarantee that a final deal will work out, as with these MOUs always. “Through the evaluation of partner potential for each area, both companies will now carry out technically, sustainability and cost feasibility studies,” said Polestar, saying that it “wants to provide further detail on the outcome of the talks in the future.”
However, if details can be brought into line, there is a fair amount of potential. The SK Group has over 120 subsidiary companies, including SK Hynix, the huge semiconductor manufacturer. SK Group is the largest conglomerate in South Korea. Additional divisions focus on telecoms, battery and energy technology along with solar specialists and more.
Thomas Ingenlath of Polestar, CEO of the agreement, said that “With the MOU, we will evaluate the opportunity to jointly develop high efficiency battery technology and other commercial products to support our important global growth plans.
SK IE Technology – making battery materials for Li-ion materials – raised 2 billion dollars in an IPO earlier this year. SK Innovation, which still owns approximately 61 per cent of the company, spun it out in 2019 and has customers such as Panasonic or Samsung SDI. Recent EVs like the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Kia EV6, like the Ford F-150 Lightning, both use SK Innovation batteries.
The South Korean company is looking at the next generation of power technology, solid-state batteries. They will be more powerful than li-ion versions, with more performance and range.