SK Innovation’s batteries will be used in Mercedes-Benz’s first electric vehicle (EV) model.
The company said on Feb. 17 that it has signed a contract with Daimler, a holding company of Mercedes-Benz, to supply the German automaker with lithium-ion battery cells for next-generation electric vehicles.
Daimler will use SK Innovation’s battery cells in the German automaker's next-generation EV. It means that SK is supplying a core component of EVs for Mercedes-Benz’s first EV model, which will debut in 2017.
In addition to its first EV, Mercedes-Benz has decided to use SK’s batteries in some other EV models and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) models. An official from SK Innovation said, “It is a large project that supplies German automaker with batteries for more than one EV models.”
As orders of batteries for Hyundai-Kia Motors, which has the partnership with the company, have increased, SK Innovation is operating its existing battery manufacturing facility in Seosan, South Chungcheong seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The company doubled the production capacity of the plant in July last year, showing how fast the market is growing. With the added orders from the latest large contract, the company will consider plans to add more production lines to the facility according to the market growth in the future.
SK Innovation projects the global EV market to grow from the current 2.2 million to 6 million by 2020 from in line with strengthening environmental regulations in Europe, China and the United States.