Dispute between two EV battery suppliers could delay Ford and VW electric dreams

Ford and Volkswagen (VW) both have ambitious plans to release a number of electric vehicles (EVs) over the coming years.

Those plans could be in jeopardy due to an ongoing dispute between two South Korean EV battery suppliers, SK Innovations Co. and LG Chem Ltd.

The legal battle revolves around LG Chem’s claim that SKI’s batteries were developed using trade secrets stolen from their company. If they are successful in their claim, the U.S. could ban the import of SKI battery components.

In a legal filing with the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), VW claims such a ban would result in a “catastrophic supply disruption” in their efforts to build EVs in Tennessee.

Ford has said they have spent “significant resources and man-hours” to design the electric F-150 truck to use SKI batteries. Any decision that would impede SKI from providing the necessary components could delay the release of the electric truck and also cost hundreds of jobs.

A trade judge in February ruled that SKI had destroyed key evidence in the dispute, and as a result LG Chem should be declared the winner. Those findings are being reviewed by the USITC, and a decision is not expected until October.

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