While Samsung is very heavily associated with electronics, the company is today surrounded by mystery after a number of patent applications appeared in the US and Korea. This is not the first time the company has been linked with the automobile industry, having set up a division in the 1990s which was later sold to Renault. However the company has a very close relationship with BMW and Fiat, with rumours in the marketplace that Tesla motors has approached the company about working together on battery production.
So, what exactly is Samsung up to and what is the potential impact for the electric vehicle market of the future?
What patents has Samsung applied for?
The company has applied for an array of patent which could be directly linked to the electric vehicle market, taking in the likes of new tyres, motors and perhaps more interestingly, "on-board electronics for information sharing between the car and driver". These broad patents offer the company a very interesting way into the electric vehicle market and, if correct, would rubberstamp the assertion by many experts that the industry is here to stay and on the verge of something big.
While Samsung has so far refused to expand on the patent applications, the rumour mill is going into overdrive and the company is doing nothing to calm this. It is common knowledge that the company is in talks with Tesla, having already supplied BMW and Fiat. Tesla currently uses the Panasonic lithium-ion battery in its award-winning Tesla Model S vehicle therefore a switch to Samsung would be an interesting move.
New technologies for the future
As we touched on yesterday, despite the fact that many critics of the electric vehicle market would have you believe that EV technology has gone as far as it can this would not appear to be the case. Samsung is most certainly putting down a number of markers for the future by looking towards new technology for on-board systems and there is the potential for various new tie-ups with an array of electric vehicle manufacturers.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "The name HEVO is one you could hear a lot more over the next few years after the company released an intelligent manhole cover which is capable of recharging an electric vehicle, wirelessly, while parked above it."
The majority of EV enthusiasts will not be aware that Samsung does have a history in the automobile industry, however brief this was. The fact that it has been there, done it, sold the business and maintains a 20% share in a joint Renault-Samsung venture should not be underestimated. This is a company which is forward-looking and integral to the development of new battery technology and is likely to become a major player in the electric vehicle market.
It will be interesting to see how far Samsung goes with regards to the EV industry and indeed whether rumours about the potential use of these patents are correct. As has been the case for some time now, battery technology is central to the long-term success of the electric vehicle market and a company such as Samsung, with financial capabilities and technological know-how few can match, could take the industry to a new level.
Hopefully we should see an array of new partnerships and joint ventures between electronic companies and electric vehicle manufacturers which would indicate a healthy future for the sector.