Samsung SDI on December 5 that it signed a contract with Tesla to supply cylindrical batteries in its energy storage project in South Australia. The size of the contract is estimated at US$33 million.
South Australia, which relies much on alternative energy sources, launched an energy storage project last year and Tesla won the contract for the 100 MW-129 MWh battery storage project. Then, Tesla CEO Elon Musk promised to provide free electricity if he fails to put the factory into operation within 100 days from the signing of the contract. Experts point out that the contract between Tesla and Samsung SDI is to keep the promise.
This means Panasonic is having a hard time supplying all of the batteries required for the project and the cooperative relationship between Samsung SDI and Tesla can be deepened with time. Panasonic, which has worked with Tesla since 2014 for the construction of the Gigafactory, was the sole supplier of energy storage systems for Tesla before Samsung SDI came in and was the sole supplier of electric vehicle (EV) batteries for Tesla until recently.
Earlier, in December last year, Samsung SDI held hands with Lucid Motors, too. Its high-end sports sedans produced next year are scheduled to be equipped with cylindrical batteries supplied by Samsung SDI. In this regard, Lucid Motors is currently building an EV manufacturing plant with an annual production capacity of 10,000 units in Casa Grande, Arizona at an investment of US$700 million.