Samsung to supply EV batteries to Chinese automaker

Global energy company Samsung SDI will begin shipment of high performance, circular battery cells to JAC Motors next year, as it seeks to maintain its leadership in China's growing electric vehicle market.

Samsung SDI, the battery-making business of Samsung Group, on Sunday announced it will supply electric vehicle (EV) batteries to Chinese automaker JAC Motors.

From early 2016, Samsung SDI will begin shipping millions of its high performance, circular battery cells on a monthly basis to power JAC's new iEV6S.

The Chinese automaker unveiled the iEV6S on Friday at the Guangzhou Motor Show. It will be the first electric SUV in China to offer a range of more than 250 kilometers (155 miles).

"The company will start supplying circular batteries, in addition to square-shaped batteries, as it seeks to maintain its leadership in China's growing electric vehicle market," said Cho Nam-seong, CEO of Samsung SDI, in a press release.

Samsung SDI is already a major EV supplier of batteries to the Chinese auto industry, which has been largest in the world in terms of unit production since 2008.

Last year, Samsung SDI announced the building of an electric battery factory with the aim to become "the world's number one company in small-sized batteries, and in the medium- and large-sized battery segments". This followed the Chinese government revealing a target to place 5 million EVs and hybrids on its roads by 2020.

China is experiencing a boom in EV sales and it will become the world's largest producer of electric vehicles this year, according to the Chinese Automotive Policy Research Center.

The Anhui Province based JAC Motors is one of China's 10 largest automakers with annual sales last year of about 500,000 cars.

Samsung SDI also supplies China's Yutong Group, which is rated as one of the world's largest bus manufacturers, and Chinese truck manufacturer Foton Motor Company.

Samsung SDI is "dedicated to developing more efficient, high capacity energy solutions for leading automakers".