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SK Energy to Supply Li-ion Batteries to Daimler’s Mitsubishi Fuso

Reuters. South Korea-based SK Energy said it has been chosen as a supplier of lithium-ion batteries for a hybrid electric vehicle project for Daimler commercial vehicle subsidiary Mitsubishi Fuso; Daimler holds 85% of Fuso.

The project would go through two years of development, SK said in a statement, without disclosing other details including the value of future supplies.

Earlier this month, a source at SK Energy said the South Korean oil refiner was close to a battery deal with Mitsubishi Fuso. SK Energy is also in talks with a domestic elective vehicle maker, CT&T [earlier post], to sell rechargeable batteries. SK Energy said the deal with Mitsubishi Fuso would enable it to participate as a preferred supplier in a variety of hybrid and electric vehicle projects by Daimler.

SK Energy is Asia’s fourth largest energy provider, and was Korea’s first oil refining company, now with a domestic market share of 38%. The company was the first Korean company, and the third in the world, to independently develop a lithium-ion battery separator, which features proprietary technology for low shrinkage and heat resistance.

As of June 2009, South Korea-based SK Energy had developed six lithium-ion cells: two targeted at hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) applications and four targeted at plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) applications. (Earlier post.)

SK Energy uses a lithium manganese oxide cathode material, mixing in NMC material for stabilization; a surface-modified graphite on the anode; a gel polymer electrolyte; and a ceramic-coated proprietary SK separator featuring low shrinkage and high heat resistance. SK cells have an energy density of up to 140 Wh/kg.



Good news for future PHEVs and BEVs + associated high performance lithium batteries. At 140 Wh/Kg it is no gate buster but a progressive step forward. It may be 20% better by 2011/12.

Will more R&D raise battery performance to 400 and even 500 Wh/Kg and reduce cost to $250/Kwh with mass production during the next decade?

Modified lithium and/or new technologies being explored will be around by 2020. The world cannot weight for 10+ years for the ideal e-storage unit. First generation PHEVs and BEVs will be expensive and have limited performances, but that is how it goes with most new technologies.


Thundersky batteries out of China already provide 40ah to 200Ah cells with about 130Wh/Kg at about $250/kWh. Am I missing something?


"Am I missing something?"

1) Please name a source for this $250/kWh Thundersky price?

2)130wh/kg means a 25kWh pack still weighs 200kg, that's heavier than most ICEs. Batteries need to be 300 wh/kg to compete with ICEs on weight and 500 wh/kg + to start competeing on range.



Why you have to compare battery with ICE? Better compare full fuel tank, gear box and ICE with battery and electric motor.

On other hand weight of car even 20% is not relevant so far in case we have 100% regenerative braking. Air drag will be not increased and acceleration losses will be recovered.

For the moment the most relevant issue is the price and number of cycles of the battery. In case end price of battery system would be $ 250/kwh - it's four times less than we have today for Chevy Volt battery.

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