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Shown above is the R1S, the electric sports utility vehicle of Rivian Automotive. Since its listing last week, the U.S. automaker has boosted the share price of South Korea’s battery maker Samsung SDI. Photo courtesy of Rivian Automotive

Korean battery maker benefits from U.S. EV maker’s listing

U.S. electric carmaker Rivian Automotive went public earlier this month to attract investors _ the start-up’s market valuation is now bigger than those of General Motors and Ford.

And its IPO has a ripple effect across the Pacific as Samsung SDI’s share price is also going up. The Seoul-based company provides batteries for Rivian.

After Rivian was listed on Nov. 10, the share price of Samsung SDI rose 0.67 percent the next day. Its value also increased by 1.46 percent this week.

“Samsung SDI’s batteries have been mostly used for small-sized info-tech devices. Starting Tesla, however, Rivian and Lucid Motors are adopting the firm’s products,” KB Investment & Securities analyst Lee Chang-min said.

From the perspective of Samsung SDI, there is a downside for the partnership as Rivian announced its plan to manufacture electric vehicle batteries on its own.

But observers expected that the step would have a limited effect on Samsung SDI.

“It will take some time for Rivian to develop its batteries because the technology is quite complicated,” Prof. Kim Pil-soo at Daelim University said. “Hence, the company will have to cooperate with Samsung SDI for the time being.”

Rivian has been around for over a decade, and it started delivering products this year, more than 150 electric pickup trucks.

As an affiliate of the world’s largest memory chip maker Samsung Electronics, Samsung SDI is one of three major battery makers in South Korea. Its competitors are LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation.

The three companies have competed with Chinese players in the promising global battery markets for electric vehicles.

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Hillary Lee studied literature in Seoul. Lee has big interests on various topics including IT, BT, business and finance. Lee can be reached at homin30@hanmail.net or 82-2-6956-6698.