Daimler reveals new battery supplier for future EVs

February 22, 2016 // By Paul Buckley
Daimler has selected South Korean lithium-ion battery producer SK Innovation to be a lithium ion battery cell supplier for electric vehicle projects for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars.

Battery cells to be supplied by SK Innovation will be formed into battery packs and equipped in future Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles. With battery cells supplied by SK Innovation, Mercedes-Benz is planning to expand its clean-energy electric vehicle line-up in full-scale. SK Innovation battery cells will equip multiple electric vehicle models in diverse segments.

After doubling the company's battery manufacturing capacity in Seosan, Korea, SK Innovation is meeting increased orders with production running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. SK Innovation is expecting to expand the company's manufacturing volume through additional projects with current customers and new business opportunities, in addition to the new orders from Daimler.

SK Innovation projects the global electric vehicle market will reach six million by year 2020, due to strengthening environmental regulations in Europe, China and US. Specifically, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles are expected to outgrow hybrid electric vehicles.

“SK Innovation is planning to strengthen its position in the global battery market with differentiated performance and technology, while reinforcing relationship with the current customers such as Daimler, to prepare for strong growth of the electric vehicle market. Winning a major project with Mercedes-Benz, SK Innovation has become a top-tier supplier, in lead of the global electric vehicle battery market, for best-in-class automotive customers in Korea, China and Europe,” explained Hongdae Kim, Head of Battery & I/E Materials with SK Innovation.

SK Innovation is a key battery supplier for a number electric vehicle manufacturers including Faraday Future.

Previously Mercedes-Benz hasd a contract for battery packs and other parts with electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc.  In August 2015 Mercedes-Benz ended the Tesla agreement and has been looking since then for a new battery supplier.