smart fortwo BRABUS electric drive
Earlier this year, Daimler acquired the Li-Tec battery joint venture, in which the majority stack was previously held by Evonik.
Now, it seems that Daimler, as a sole owner of Li-Tec, came to the same conclusion as Evonik and is not willing to invest in the company any longer as there is no chance to make a profit.
Li-Tec is scheduled to be closed down in December 2015, according to Der Spiegel.
Daimler-manager Harald Kröger stated:
“Our cells are very good, but at current production figures far too expensive. We have realized that a car manufacturer does not have to produce the cells themselves.”
This must indicate that we're roughly a year and a half away from seeing smart electric drive with batteries from a different manufacturer. LG Chem according to Der Spiegel.
Li-Tec will be fragmented:
"Li-Tec will be retained as a research location; the majority of the 280 employees will be transferred to the Deutsche Accumotive—also a wholly owned Daimler subsidiary—which manufactures battery packs. Accumotive is currently expanding its production capacity to build systems for the next generation of the electric smart among others."
Li-Tec's end is bad news for Evonik, which still was supplying ceramic SEPARION separators and LITARION electrodes, as there are no other mass-produced cells with those materials.
Source: Green Car Congress