Young-Hyun Jeon, President of Samsung SDI, said, “The decision between hydrogen and electric cars is a matter that should be decided by customers. As the electric car market grows, we will enable the growth of our battery business as well.”
President Jeon met with reporters at the 49th regular shareholders' meeting held at The K Hotel in Yangjae-dong, Seoul on the 20th. He added, "What do you think about the electric car market in recent years? I think there are many talks surrounding hydrogen and other matters."
The present government is promoting the 'hydrogen economy'. As part of measures to cope with fine dust, the government also plans to replace commercial vehicles such as trucks and construction vehicles with hydrogen vehicles by 2035. The government will select a "Hydrogen energy-based demonstration city" that is operated by hydrogen cars, buses, and trains only. A hydrogen car uses a battery like an electric car. However, the capacity is much smaller. Only one-tenth of that is used for electric vehicles. The battery industry is concerned because the push for hydrogen cars by the government can decrease the domestic electric car battery market. President Jeon's remarks can be interpreted to mean that the fate of the industry should be left to the market economy.
He kept quiet about the investment plan this year. He did not answer questions regarding the diversification of the production base in India, and Vietnam. Currently, the battery industry focuses on expanding production in line with the expansion of the electric car market. LG Chem is reviewing plans to expand the production of EV batteries in Europe. It is necessary to expand the capacity to achieve the target of 110 gigawatts (GWh) by 2020. SK Innovation announced last month that it will add a 945.2 billion won investment to the second electric car battery factory in Hungary. Samsung SDI is also said to be adjusting the size and timing of additional investments.
On the day of the shareholders’ meeting, agenda items such as the approval of financial statements, the appointment of directors, the approval for the remuneration of directors, and the partial amendment of the Articles of Incorporation were passed as original drafts. The meeting was finished within 30 minutes.
President Jeon said in his greeting, "We will invest in automobiles and small round batteries to build a foothold for our future growth. Instead of aiming for external growth, we will aim at quality-based growth from the profitability base by acquiring differentiated technology to lead the market."