You can currently buy Samsung smartphones, TVs, fridges, washing machines and even cars – but what about a Samsung electric vehicle? South Korea’s largest chaebol is apparently scratching that itch, as, according to Bloomberg, it is in talks to purchase a stake in BYD, China’s largest EV manufacturer.

Samsung said in a statement that details including the size of the investment will only be discussed once the deal is confirmed. Such an investment, it claimed, would boost the company’s semiconductor business for the automotive industry.

Meanwhile, BYD said that while it and Samsung have deliberately hastened talks regarding the purchase of the former’s shares in a placement, those talks were still underway – denying a Korea Economic Daily report that stated that both parties agreed for Samsung to acquire a 4% stake.

Samsung’s interest in the investment was sparked by the fact that its automotive battery arm was among the foreign battery manufacturers excluded from a list of suppliers approved by China. The company wants to capitalise on China’s burgeoning electric vehicle market, which surpassed the United States’ in size last year, and spurred the government to speed up construction of charging points.

BYD Corporate video-04

The discussions with BYD are are another example of technology companies collaborating with carmakers, as demand for advanced powertrains and connectivity and safety features skyrocket.

“It puts Samsung into the electric-vehicle subsystem supply chain for a key Chinese electric vehicle and battery manufacturer,” said consultancy firm Gao Feng Advisory’s Shanghai-based managing director Bill Russo. “BYD gets a technology innovation pipeline partner with a reputable brand.”

China has big ambitions for its EV market – its government wants sales of its “new-energy vehicles” to exceed three million units a year by 2025. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, deliveries of such vehicles have already doubled to around 170,000 units in the first half of the year.

In BYD’s case, it has won the Chinese government’s approval in February to raise up to 15 billion yuan (RM8.97 billion) through additional share sale, which will go towards the expansion of battery production for new-energy vehicles and product development. The authorities have given the company a six-month timeframe to sell its shares after winning the approval.