Samsung isn't talking, but a number of the South Korean electronics giant's recent patents are speaking volumes. The company has filed a number of patents for technology that could be used in electric vehicles, making many wonder if the company, which already makes batteries for plug-in vehicles, may go whole hog and start building EVs, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Samsung has published the patents through the US Patent & Trademark Office and the Korea Intellectual Property Rights Information Service, but is keeping quite mum on whether electric vehicles are on its production horizon. The patents are related to things like new tires, motors and "on-board electronics for information sharing between the car and driver," writes The Wall Street Journal.

The company is no stranger to the auto industry. Samsung carved out an automaker division in the 1990s but sold it to Renault in 1997. Samsung's Samsung Card affiliate today has about a 20-percent stake in Renault-Samsung. An updated version of the Renault-Samsung SM7 sedan (pictured) came out in 2011.

Reports surfaced in August that Tesla Motors, which uses Panasonic lithium-ion batteries in the Model S luxury EV sedan, had been in talks with Samsung about battery production. Samsung currently makes batteries for the BMW i3 as well as the Fiat 500e.


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  • 20 Comments
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Year Ago
      LOL for suggesting that anyone would believe that Samsung planned to get into the actual manufacturing of cars... Having a patent for an auto-related technology is quite normal. Lots of companies, and people, hold them. They then license out their tech to automakers who then implement the tech in their vehicles. Hoo, boy, Samsung becoming an automaker, too much!
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        You're right, Samsung's probably in it for the parts market, as EVs have a lot of development potential. Samsung's not going to become an automaker, because it was, and still sort of is, at least in image. The SM3/SM5/SM7 series are domestically called "Samsung cars" in short by their drivers, and not "Renault cars" or "Renault-Samsung cars". Too bad they pulled out of actual automaking, as they could have done some neat stuff there.
        Naturenut99
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        Absolutely correct. Even laughing at the idea they would jump into building cars, is fully deserved.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        Ever heard of a Samsung SM 5? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault_Samsung_SM5 So they already do make a car with Renault, and manufacture it in South Korea... is the idea of them making cars so far off and unrealistic?
      RC
      • 1 Year Ago
      If Samsung puts out an EV, you can bet other technology companies will entertain the idea, most notably Samsung's archenemy, Apple which has already toyed with the idea of building its own car.
        Actionable Mango
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RC
        (1) They are not arch enemies. (2) If Apple is going to make everything Samsung makes, I guess we'll soon see Apple refrigerators, washers, dryers, hotels/resorts, dishwashers, oil tankers, ferries, bridges, medical sensors, robotic gun turrets, chemicals, life insurance, and more.
          Actionable Mango
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          I am fully aware of the patent lawsuits. Samsung is either the sole supplier or a major supplier of several critical components in every iDevice sold, components such as CPUs, display screens, memory, and more. That is an absolutely crucial partnership that has been going on for years and I would not call them "archenemies" because they have disagreements in patents. Perhaps you could say their legal departments are archenemies, but not the companies as a whole.
          RC
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          1 - Checkout the patent war over the iPhone, iPads and its corresponding Samsung clones. 2 - Apple doesn't copy Samsung. But Samsung is trying to innovate on the obvious (wearables, EVs ) by producing half-baked products ahead of Apple (i.e. Samsung's smart-watch). Apple will remain competitive in areas of interest to the company.
        Technoir
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RC
        I don't think there will be an Apple car. That's too far removed from their business of selling consumer electronics.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RC
        I think "archrival" would be the more appropriate term, not "archenemy", as their relationship is a bit too complex to simply call it an enemy relationship. And that would only apply to Samsung Electronics at this point in time. I doubt Samsung Heavy Industries, Samsung Life, Samsung Everland, Samsung [insert any of the myriad Samsung subsidiaries here] give a flying fudge about anything Apple makes so far. It'll be a LONG time before Apple's tech and design geeks gain the expertise to do a lot of things Samsung has been doing for decades.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          Which is why Apple depends on Samsung as a supplier for parts.
      thecommentator2013
      • 1 Year Ago
      Renault* not Peugeot.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      Cool. Sounds like the battery makers see a business case here and want in on the action too.. :) LG ought to do this as well. Their D1 cells so far seem awesome, at least for us hobbyists. Perhaps these battery manufacturers will start making packs for EVs, reducing the cost of R&D for the automakers? I dunno - if i had a huge battery factory and R&D going, that's exactly what i would do. Sell the whole pack to a car maker and let them take it from there. Much like how GM or Toyota or Honda will buy transmissions from companies that specialize in making them, instead of developing their own. Automakers are buying complete engines from other companies too nowadays. I don't see why batteries would be any different.
      thecommentator2013
      • 1 Year Ago
      Europeans, you're seeing your next big Peugeot.
      archos
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why isn't this getting the same reception as the story about Google or Apple buying Tesla and making EVs? Its just as ridiculous and unlikely but there were about 100 more comments.
      danfred411
      • 1 Year Ago
      Patents are bad, mkay
      goodoldgorr
      • 1 Year Ago
      I see more this as if samsung want to enter the car market as a part and service supplier and extand his name in the electric car market because there is a void to fulfill for the ones wanting prestigious brand name put inside their electric ride with more prestigious electric name like panasonic, everyday, samsung, duracell, ces, general electric, mitshubishi, bosch, ac delco, mattel, sanyo, deucth gramophone, united nucleus, hewlett packard, nasa, sharp, quasar, radio shack, lg, sony, rca victor, westignouse, frigidaire, microsoft, honeywell, general electric, nordic semiconductors, japan robotic, robocop, etc.
      Levine Levine
      • 1 Year Ago
      As Samsung and Pansonic are fierce competitors, Panasonic may cut off battery supply to Tesla when the current contract ends if Tesla turns to Samsung for EV batteries.
        Ashton
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Levine Levine
        Which is why Tesla is looking into building their own batteries.
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