Unfortunately, it won’t be for a supercar.
Given the prominence and profitability of the oil industry, the advent of electric cars seemed to secure a promising future for the world’s largest battery manufacturers: LG, Samsung, and Panasonic. However, due to increasing economies of scale, this may not be the case for much longer. Soon, it will be more profitable for automakers to do things in-house. Tesla, one of the largest of the few EV manufacturers in the world, is doing this by building its Gigafactory.
While it lists Panasonic among other partners in this endeavor, the factory is proof that automakers planning to make EVs are interested in making cars and batteries under the same (figuratively speaking) roof. Talk of a new venture between three prominent automakers only adds to this speculation. The Times recently published an article declaring that Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, and BMW are in talks to open a battery factory to supply all three automakers with power packs for future electric models. Currently, Ford makes the Focus Electric with its batteries coming from LG, while the lithium-ion units inside of BMW’s electric cars are sourced from Samsung. Joining forces would disrupt battery company sales in the short and long term.
Both automakers have announced plans to build more electric cars, with Ford flexing its cash reserves and BMW telling the market to get ready for more all-electric i models. JLR has been behind the curve when it comes to EVs, but talks of an electric-powered E-Pace SUV modeled after the F-Pace has been going around for some time. No official mention of a partnership with the American and German automakers has escaped Jaguar Land Rover’s lips, but with an EV expected at any minute it seems that JLR will either join forces or go with the three battery manufacturer alternatives. If the trio decides to combine forces, the factory is expected to produce several hundred thousand vehicles, directly threatening Tesla’s Model 3 pre-order numbers.