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South Korea-U.S. EV battery alliances spark discord

Carmakers, power cell manufacturers in technology-sharing tug of war

SK On has an automotive battery plant in the U.S., which it operates as a joint venture with Ford. (Photo courtesy of the company)

SEOUL -- Discord is being revealed within alliances between big U.S. automakers and top South Korean battery manufacturers as the carmakers accelerate their electric vehicle push while the battery producers look to safeguard their key technologies.

The automakers want more sharing of battery technology, but the South Korean suppliers are unwilling to part with their trade secrets, according to people familiar with the matter. The battery manufacturers are concerned that proprietary information may leak to rivals as the automakers deal with more suppliers.

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