Fords plans for the F-150 electric pickup and Volkswagens prepare for the VW ID.4 are in jeopardy as their battery provider is facing an import restriction over copyright problems.
LG versus SK innovation
In 2019, LG Chem, among the leading battery suppliers for electrical vehicles, submitted federal suits versus SK Innovation (SKI), another top battery supplier for electrical lorries, over supposedly stealing trade tricks.
In the fits, LG declares that SK Innovation “accessed trade tricks” by employing 77 workers from their lithium-ion battery division of LG Chem, which they claim “established the worlds first commercial pouch-type Li-ion battery for cars.”
They claim that a few of those employees stole some trade secrets before leaving for SK Innovation:
These workers include dozens of engineers associated with the research and development, assembly and production, and quality control testing of Li-ion batteries, including the newest and most advanced generation battery technology. The lawsuits allege that a substantial variety of these workers participated in the theft of LG Chems trade secrets to benefit SK Innovation in the development and production of pouch-type Li-ion batteries, of which LG Chem is the worlds leading supplier.
LG Chem claims to have proof of the employees conspiring with SK Innovation.
The business submitted similar suits against SKI in Korea, as both companies are based in South Korea, and they won in Supreme Court.
They are requesting injunctive relief to block SKI from importing its battery cells and modules in the US.
LG won and SKI is not the only one to lose
The International Trade Commission has now ruled on the case and banned SKI from importing its batteries in the US.
Nevertheless, Bloomberg reports that the ITC has actually given Ford and VW, who were counting on SKIs batteries for some upcoming electrical car programs in the United States, a couple of years before the restriction is executed:
SK Innovation will be able to import components for 4 years beginning now for domestic battery production for Fords EV F-150 releasing next year, and for Volkswagens American MEB line for two years, to provide the automakers time to shift to brand-new domestic providers, the International Trade Commission bought.
Ford cautioned the commission that it is hard to change battery provider, however the car manufacturer seems delighted with the four-year delay in the restriction:
Ford has actually formerly verified strategies to bring an all-electric version of the F-150 pickup to market in 2022.
FTC: We use earnings making vehicle affiliate links. More.
Sign up for Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and sign up for the podcast.
This ITC choice supports our strategies to bring the all-electric Ford F-150 to market in mid-2022. Supplying this zero-emissions, purpose-built truck for our consumers is a vital part of our strategy to lead the electrical car transformation and is a leading concern for the business.