Go to contents

SK Innovation vows to develop next-generation battery this year

SK Innovation vows to develop next-generation battery this year

Posted May. 28, 2019 07:39,   

Updated May. 28, 2019 07:39


SK Innovation has announced its plan to develop the world’s first high-performance batteries for electric vehicles that will power a vehicle to travel up to 500 kilometers on a single charge and commercialize them as early as 2021. The South Korean company will expand its battery production capacity by more than 20 times by 2025. Its goal is to jump to No. 3 in the global battery market for electric cars by 2025 through aggressive investment and technological development.

SK Innovation CEO Kim Jun on Monday had a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seoul and unveiled the company’s growth strategy. The company vowed to complete the development of its next-generation NCM (nickel: cobalt: manganese) EV battery cells at a ratio of 9:0.5:0.5. A higher ratio of nickel in a battery means longer travel distance as it increases energy density. But it requires state-of-the-art technology to increase stability. Currently, most of the batteries in the electric car market have a nickel content of 50-60 percent, which travels up to 300 kilometers on a single charge.

Other EV battery makers, including LG Chem, Samsung SDI and China's Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), the world's top EV battery manufacturer by shipment, have also announced their plan to mass produce NCM811, which has a nickel content of 80 percent. Industry experts predict that there will be a fierce competition between Chinese battery makers, which are benefiting from government subsidies, and Korean companies, which are striving to narrow the technological gap with Chinese battery makers.

SK Innovation is planning to boost the production capacity as well. The output is set to increase from the current 4.7GWh a year to 100GWh a year by 2025. The production capacity will reach 60GWh annually in 2022, when the company will start the operation of its plants at Changzhou in China, Komarom in Hungary, and Georgia, the U.S. The company also plans to expand its order backlog from 430GWh today to 700 GWh over the same period.

SK also presented its new business model of Battery as a Service (BaaS). BaaS is a comprehensive service that encompasses production and sales of batteries as well as repair, rental, charging and recycling. The company also aims to expand its business to the aviation and ocean industry and offer energy storage system (ESS) solutions.

Kim commented on the lawsuit filed in the US over LG Chem's technology outflow, saying, "It is important that the battery industry is growing in earnest and that it is important to attract the global market (rather than fighting domestic companies) "He criticized.

 It also revealed that the proportion of domestic investment is small. Yoon Se-sun, CEO of SK Innovation Battery Business, said, "As the volume of purchases of finished car makers has increased recently, we are buying batteries as a condition to build a battery factory around a finished car production plant." If domestic orders increase, did. The government has spoken about the 'Western-style job' based on the electric car battery industry, which is based on the theory that it is not suitable for answering.

Tae-Ho Hwang taeho@donga.com