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Continental AG and SK Innovation Partner for Lithium-ion Battery Technology

In January, Lithium Investing News reported that South Korea’s SK Innovation and Germany’s Continental AG signed a letter of intent at the North American International Auto Show. In July, the companies signed a cooperation agreement whereby SK and Continental will invest several hundred million euros to form a jointly-managed company. The new venture will combine the expertise of SK Innovation and Continental in order to develop and produce electric vehicle batteries.

While both parties will maintain pursuit of their own business strategies, SK Innovation will hold majority interest, with a 51 percent stake in the new company; Continental will hold the remaining 49 percent.

Electric vehicles have become a staple in meeting global clean energy targets. As a result, demand for lithium-ion batteries, the main driver of lithium demand, has skyrocketed. However, lithium-ion batteries are still somewhat pricy, and that has caused a lag in adoption rates for electric vehicles. As such, it should come as no surprise that battery technology companies and vehicle manufacturers are teaming up with the goal of developing and supplying global markets with first class electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries.

A recipe for success?

By combining SK’s skill in battery development — specifically with regards to energy or power density — and Continental’s experience developing and producing vehicle battery systems, the joint venture places both companies in a prime position to lead the way with innovative solutions for the international automotive industry. The venture will facilitate the development of “battery systems for Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV), Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) and Electric Vehicle (EV) programs at leading automobile manufacturers worldwide,” said Continental in a statement, according to Inautonews.


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