Samsung may be getting into the EV game.
The electronics company already makes batteries for BMW EVs, and it’s been rumored to be thinking of building its own electric car before, but now it appears that the company’s vice chairman has confirmed it.
Rival Apple has long been rumored to be working on an electric car, and it now might be Samsung’s turn. Vice chairman Lee Jae Young has indicated an interest in the automotive industry, according to Android Headlines.
Of course, saying there’s an interest in the industry doesn’t necessarily mean that Samsung will build an EV. Same goes for Apple – one or both of the companies could simply be looking into supplying existing carmakers with hardware or software (perhaps an infotainment system, for example), and as noted above, Samsung already builds batteries.
Even if Apple or Samsung does build a car and the hardware/software to run it, it may turn to an automaker for distribution. Android Headlines does not source a direct quote from Young.
This could all be a response to rumors that Samsung is in talks to buy Magneti Marelli, which is Fiat’s electronics division. Further, Samsung has flirted with the automotive industry before. During the 90s, Samsung partnered with Nissan to launch Samsung Motors, with a goal of being one of the largest automakers in the world, but that venture failed and Samsung sold 70 percent of its stake to Renault, who partners with Nissan. Samsung Motors became a subsidiary of Renault and renamed itself Renault Samsung Motors. It still sells cars in South Korea under that name.
Since Samsung still has a stake in Renault, the company would have access to Renault’s automotive expertise, and that further fuels any rumors about a potential Samsung EV.
Whether the company is building an electric car or simply wading into a different part of the auto industry remains to be seen, but it’s clear that tech companies are definitely eyeing the auto sector.