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Tesla’s Talks With Samsung For Electric-Car Batteries Get More Serious

Tesla is looking for a new partner to produce electric-car batteries in addition to its current maker, Panasonic, and it may have found one.

Or not.

Reuters reports that Tesla’s talks with Samsung SDI–a division of Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.–are getting more serious.

Spokespeople from both companies said nothing concrete had come out of the talks, thus far, but two sources reportedly close to the deal told Reuters that Tesla and Samsung were nearing a final agreement.

One source said that negotiations were “90 percent complete,” and that the main roadblock has been Samsung SDI’s insistence that Tesla also buy components such as touch screens from its sister divisions.

Another source said Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] had already finished testing Samsung battery technology for future car applications. Samsung batteries would reportedly be used on the 2015 Tesla Model X crossover.

However, a third source contradicted the reports, saying the two companies were nowhere near a deal.

This individual, also reportedly close to the discussions, said Samsung’s lithium-ion cells were not competitive with those of Panasonic–Tesla’s current supplier (and also an investor in Tesla).

The source described the assertion that Tesla and Samsung are nearing an agreement as “not accurate.”
Why does Tesla need a second battery supplier?


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