Evonik and Daimler Establish Strategic Alliance for Automotive Li-ion Battery Research, Development and Production; Li-Tec Cells to Be Used in Mercedes EVs
|A Li-Tec 40 Ah high-energy cell. Click to enlarge.|
Evonik Industries AG and Daimler AG have established a strategic alliance to further the research, development and production of lithium-ion battery cells and battery systems in Germany. (Earlier post.)
The two companies will form a joint venture focused on the development and production of batteries and battery systems for automotive applications. Daimler will hold 90% of this joint venture, and Evonik 10%. In addition, Daimler is acquiring 49.9% of Evonik Group subsidiary Li-Tec—Evonik Industries AG already holds 50.1%. As part of the agreement, Mercedes will use Li-Tec lithium-ion cells in upcoming series-production electric vehicles.
Both partners are seeking the involvement of a third shareholder in Li-Tec with expertise in electrical and electronic systems integration.
The lithium-ion batteries produced by the joint venture will be used in both the passenger car and commercial vehicle sectors. The capacity available at Li-Tec and the joint venture will initially concentrate on the needs of Daimler AG. Beyond that, the partners are planning the sale of cells and battery systems to third parties.
|Capacity||1.4 mAh/cm2||3.5 mAh/cm2|
|Cycle life||> 5,000||> 3,000|
|Application||High power||High energy|
Li-Tec uses Evonik’s Separion flexible ceramic separator and Litarion electrodes (developed in partnership with Enax, earlier post) in its prismatic cells. Litarion cathodes are based on lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide materials (LiNi1/3Mn1/3Co1/3O2, NMC) materials. High-energy type anodes contain graphite as the active material; the high-power type is based on hard carbon.
Current Evonik/Li-Tec high energy cells (for full EVs), have an energy density of 0.2 kWh/kg, and a power density of 1.3 kW/kg. The high power cells (for hybrids) offer an energy density of 0.08 kWh/kg, and peak power density of 3 kW/kg.
Daimler originally began research and development on battery-powered vehicles in the late 1970s, including further development of individual key components such as electric motors and energy storage as well as vehicle concepts. The company has more than 600 patents associated with battery-powered vehicles, more than 230 of which are in the field of lithium-ion technology, according to Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
With our joint commitment, we once more confirm the innovative strength of the German industrial sector. At the same time, Daimler and Evonik are writing another piece of industrial history. We are bringing back to Germany a technology that has not existed here for a long time.—Dieter Zetsche and Dr. Werner Müller, CEO of Evonik
Market forecasts cited by the partners project the market size for high-performance lithium-ion batteries will exceed €10 billion (US$13.6 billion) within the next decade, with the market for battery materials exceeding €4 billion (US$5.45 billion). In Germany alone, the federal government is striving to see at least one million electric vehicles on city streets by 2020. (Earlier post.)
Mercedes-Benz will launch the S 400 BlueHYBRID next year, using a Li-ion battery pack provided by Continental and Johnson Controls-Saft. (Earlier post.) Daimler also is planning series production vehicles with fuel cells and with pure battery-powered electric drive. The company recently launched two electric vehicle projects using the smart electric drive in Berlin and Italy.