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Report: Daimler and Evonik to Form JV, Build Li-ion Battery Plant

13 December 2008

Manager Magazin. Daimler Ag and Evonik will create a joint venture to develop and manufacture automotive lithium-ion batteries based on Evonik’s technology, according to a report in Der Spiegel.

Reuters reported that Daimler will have a 90% stake in the joint venture, with Evonik holding the remaining 10%. In addition, Daimler reportedly will buy half of Evonik’s stake in Li-Tec.

In June, Evonik, which incorporates the former Degussa AG, doubled its stake in Li-Tec Battery GmbH to 40%. Li-Tec uses Evonik’s Separion flexible ceramic separator and Litarion electrodes (developed in partnership with Enax) to manufacture lithium-ion cells. (Earlier post.) Litarion cathodes are based on the new generation of lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) materials. High-energy type anodes contain graphite as the active material; the high-power type is based on hard carbon.

Evonik and Li-Tec are members of the Lithium Ionen Batterie LIB 2015 (Lithium-Ion Battery LIB 2015) consortium which also includes Bosch, BASF, and VW. The consortium will invest €360 million (US$556 million) for research and development of lithium-ion batteries. This will be supplemented by €60 million (US$93 million) in funding from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) over the next three years.

In addition to its electric smart cars, Daimler plans to equip a current Mercedes model with a battery-electric drive. The German federal government recently announced measures to support the development of  electric and hybrid vehicles in the next ten years, with the goal of putting one million electric (EV) and plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) vehicles onto Germany’s roads by 2020. (Earlier post.)

December 13, 2008 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

This is excellent news for PHEVs and future BEV development and production.

German high quality engineering + well known excellent workmanship coupled with very large financial resources and important customers can produce the high reliability advanced battery packs required for e-vehicles of various sizes.

Too bad the Big-3 did not get similarly involved instead of spending $$ B on more and more gas guzzlers. Is it too late for them to do the right things?

I have the most confidence in Daimler, which now has many hybrids, diesels, smart cars, smart ED, Sprinter PHEV, the patented integrated climate control/lithium battery cooling system, an upcoming Mercedes electric car. BMW bought their components for the 500 MiniE from an American company, AC Propulsion. Although Audi had PHEV concepts in the past, given the recent history of electrical gremlins with VW and low initial quality I'll be slow to embrace them. They have made good battery partnerships as well however.

I'd add though that VW's size and scale could be a major advantage in the end.

BMW seems more interested in promoting hydrogen combustion. Anybody heard otherwise?

Better late than never.
GM has the volt well on the way (if they survive).
I guess the German auto makers MAY get similarly involved.
"...WILL create a joint venture to develop and manufacture ...".
"...Daimler PLANS to equip a current Mercedes model with a battery-electric drive."
Is it too late for them to do the right things?
Fortunately the Big-3 still makes $$ B on more and more gas guzzlers.
Per the Wall Street Journal Dec 3, 2008; In November, Light-Duty Trucks OUTSOLD cars 387,713 to 359,076.

Umm, that's year-to-date.
"Per the Wall Street Journal Dec 3, 2008; In November, Light-Duty Trucks OUTSOLD cars 387,713 to 359,076, year-to-date."

Oops, I meant to Preview not Post.
Per the Wall Street Journal Dec 3, 2008; In November, Light-Duty Trucks OUTSOLD cars 387,713 to 359,076.

Year-to-date (Nov); Cars outsold Light-Duty Trucks by only 6,361,824 to 5,986,069.
Since trucks have a high profit margin, the Big-3's "mistakes" have kept them alive.
If their new "Car Czar" switches production over to small cars (the type of car people will not buy from Detroit) they will need a HUGE bailout by mid 2009 (as if 25 billion is not huge).

The pure sales figures might justify the statement, that the light trucks are keeping the Big 3 alive. However they only theoretically command higher profits. With the huge rebates/ discounts etc. that the companies have to give today, plus the risen commodity prices, e.g. double mass, double amount of steel, with steel prices lately 100% higher than before 4 times the commodity price of a half the weight car. Plus the technology in trucks today isn't cheap any longer. Before they were able to sell them with cheap 2-valve, low efficiency V6, V8s and leaf sprung solid rear axle and without any electronics. Now you need economic engines, sophisticated spiral spring suspensions, electronically controled 4WD, ABS, ESP and other ameneties. I am pretty sure a top spec'd BMW Mini oder Fiat 500 earns more cash for it's company than a US V6 truck.

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