SK in talks with EV startup Polestar under Volvo for technology licensing biz

2021.05.06 13:43:53 | 2021.05.06 13:44:18

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SK Inc., the holding entity of South Korea’s third largest conglomerate SK Group, is reviewing a strategic partnership with Swedish electric vehicle maker Polestar under Volvo Car Group (Volvo Cars) on EV technology licensing business.

SK and Polestar currently are in talks to develop next-generation mobility technologies and explore related business opportunities, according to industry sources on Wednesday.

The Korean company invested in the Swedish EV startup by joining a $550 million fund-raising round led by Chongqing Chengxing Equity Investment Fund Partnership, Zibo Financial Holding and Zibo Hightech Industrail Investment in mid-April.

China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely) acquired Polestar in 2015 and transformed it into a stand-alone EV brand under Volvo Cars with focus on high-performance electric cars in 2017. Volvo Cars was taken over by Geely in 2010, and the Chinese parent company now is seeking to groom Polestar to its EV technology platform for the industry’s first EV technology licensing business.

[Photo by Polestar]이미지 확대

[Photo by Polestar]

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group’s Proton Cars used Volvo’s shift by wire gear system for its first sport utility vehicle model in Malaysia. Lynk & Co., the automotive brand formed as a joint venture between Geely and Volvo in 2016, also featured various technologies of Volvo.

“EV startups usually prefer to buy proved technologies for batteries and motors, not to directly invest in development,” said an industry insider.

SK and Polestar reportedly agree on the vision and potential of their alliance as Polestar’s business capability has appealed to SK readying to expand investment in eco-friendly mobility. SK’s technologies prowess in EV battery also has been acknowledged by Polestar, according to industry sources. SK’s battery making unit SK Innovation is Korea’s third largest EV battery supplier.

By Lee Yoon-jae and Lee Ha-yeon

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