Samsung and BMW are strengthening their ties in the electric vehicle (EV) business.
Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jae-yong met with BMW CEO Oliver Zipse at the German carmaker’s driving center in Yeongjongdo, Incheon west of Seoul. Lee has been strengthening Samsung’s global network in the mobility sector. Their meeting came about six months after Lee met Zipse at BMW’s headquarters in Germany.
Samsung said Lee met with top management officials of the German automaker at the BMW Driving Center and had a chance to see the BMW i7, an EV variation of the flagship 7 Series sedan.The latest flagship EV is equipped with Samsung SDI’s high-performance P5 battery.
The meeting also featured Samsung SDI CEO Choi Yoon-ho, Jean-Philippe Parain, senior vice president of BMW, and Han Sang-yun, president of BMW Group Korea.
The P5 battery has a 20 percent increase in energy density and a 20 percent reduction in material costs compared to existing EV battery cells in order to maximize the mileage of EVs. Not only the i7 EV, but other BMW EVs such as the iX and the i4 use the P5 battery cell, according to Samsung.
“I am very pleased to be with BMW. Let’s continue to strengthen cooperation between the two companies,” Lee said during the meeting, according to Samsung.
In response, Zipse said, “Samsung is one of the most important partners in BMW’s electrification. To us, it is very meaningful that Samsung’s management is present with the i7 that incorporates our latest technology.”
Samsung and BMW have been cooperating for 13 years. In 2009, the two companies announced a joint EV development project and started cooperation on EV batteries. Lee joined the project at the early stage by communicating with BMW management and has led the strengthening of EV cooperation between the two.
Starting with the i3, BMW’s first EV which was released in 2013, other EVs, such as the i8 in 2015 and the iX and the i4 in 2021 are equipped with Samsung SDI’s high-performance batteries.
Their relationship went beyond just supplying battery cells as they began developing EV technologies together since 2014.
“As a strategic partner of BMW, Samsung SDI is proud to be able to join the development of the new i7 luxury EV sedan,” the Samsung SDI CEO said. “We will work together to present new standards for EVs and batteries.”