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Samsung SDI to Build Electric Vehicle Battery Plant for European Market

 Budding worldwide electric vehicle sales spur more battery capacity.

Samsung SDI, a major South Korean producer of lithium ion batteries used in electric vehicles, said it will invest $358 million to build a battery factory in Hungary for supplying the European auto industry.

The company, which already operates facilities in China and South Korea, said its plant will open in the second half of 2018 near Budapest and would be able to make batteries for about 50,000 vehicles annually. German automaker BMW is among the company's clients; BMW's i3 EV uses a Samsung battery.

In June, Bloomberg reported that Samsung SDI was discussing supply of its batteries to Tesla Motors, which is building its own battery plant in Nevada with Japanese supplier Panasonic.

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