ULSAN, SEOUL, South Korea, July 15 German
premium automaker BMW plans to increase orders of
electric vehicle battery cells by "at least" 20 to 30 percent
from its exclusive supplier Samsung SDI in 2016 from
its 2014 level, one of BMW's top executives told reporters.
South Korea's Samsung SDI will not only increase its supply
for BMW's i3 and i8 electric cars but start supply for its
future hybrid models starting with the X5 plug-in hybrid, Klaus
Draeger, BMW's purchasing chief said.
The supply deal was part of a memorandum of understanding
signed between the two companies on Monday, but embargoed until
"If we have hundreds of thousands of cars, then of course
one would think about additional sources. But at first we need
to get more economies of scale," he told reporters during his
visit to Korea, referring to electric vehicles.
BMW sold 5,396 i3 cars in the first half of this year
globally, compared with a total of 1.02 million vehicles it sold
during the period.
Draeger acknowledged that one of the challenges for battery
electric cars is the limited driving range called "range
"This is why the whole industry is still looking very much
at fuel cells because it is not clear what is also happening on
the side of the electric infrastructure," he said, adding that
BMW is also doing a research on a fuel cell vehicle system.
He said BMW also plans to further boost purchasing from
South Korean suppliers from over 300 million euros ($408.45
million) in value this year.
($1 = 0.7345 Euros)
(Reporting by Michael Perry)