South Korean conglomerate, SK Group, signed an agreement with China's BAIC Group and Beijing Electronics Holding to form a joint venture company, which will manufacture modules and battery packs for New Energy Vehicles (aka EVs/PHEVs).
The partners expect to invest over $160 million in the JV. SK Group will hold 40% share and 41% will be owned by Beijing Electronics. The remaining 19% will belong to Chinese automaker BAIC.
According to different outlets covering the Chinese scene, the JV will "develop China's first fully automated module production line and first partially automated battery assembly line." So, we could expect that SK Group will provide lithium-ion cells, which will be locally assembled into modules and packs. Production should start in the second half of 2014 with initial capacity of about 10,000 packs annually.
Noteworthy is that SK Innovation has, in Seosan, Korea "an integrated production system from electrode production to battery cell and battery pack assembly, with the production capacity of 800MWh in electrode production and 200MWh in battery assembly which can equip total of 10,000 EVs." It seems that this latest China deal should help utilize some of that cell capacity.
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive
One of SK Innovation's customers is Daimler, who is using the cells in the 60-kWh packs that power the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive.
In Europe, SK Innovation formed a joint venture with Continental - SK Continental E-motion, who produces and distributes lithium-ion battery systems.
Other customers using SK Innovation in EVs is the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group.