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SK Innovation's New EV Batteries Extends Range and Performance

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【Summary】“NCM 811 batteries will help extend the driving range of EVs up to 500 kilometers. The company will also develop new batteries that can provide a range of more than 700 kilometers by 2020."

Michael Cheng    Sep 06, 2017 3:00 PM PT
SK Innovation's New EV Batteries Extends Range and Performance

For EV manufacturers, range anxiety is a major barrier in the adoption of sustainable driving options. There are currently several solutions designed to curtail to this issue, which includes installing charging stations around cities and advising EV owners to use mobile applications to monitor power consumption.

SK Innovation, a subsidiary under South Korea-based conglomerate SK Group, is offering a straightforward solution for curbing range anxiety in EVs. Recently, the business announced the timely production of pouch-type NCM 811 batteries. The power cells are being manufactured in both medium and large sizes.

NCM 811 Batteries

The new, powerful batteries will be capable of extending the range of EVs. During production, the units utilize high amounts of nickel, contributing to the battery's long-range capacity. This feature also helps reduce overall manufacturing costs inside the plant. Previously, batteries with high nickel content were considered to be unstable. The units were prone to overheating, which resulted in a shorter lifespan. SK Innovation's NCM 811 batteries leverage ceramic-coated technology in its separators to ensure stability and performance.

"NCM 811 batteries will help extend the driving range of EVs up to 500 kilometers. The company will also develop new batteries that can provide a range of more than 700 kilometers by 2020," said Lee Jon-ha, principal researcher of the Battery R&D Center.

According to a press release, the new power cells are an upgrade to the NCM 622 model. Moreover, the NCM 811 will be used in energy storage centers later this year. The units will make their way inside EVs by the third quarter of 2018. For now, the batteries are being manufactured in the city of Seosan, South Korea. SK Innovation is in the process of building its sixth production line to improve manufacturing capacity.

Serving the EV Market

In the second quarter of 2017, the business, which also owns the largest commercial oil refinery in the country, voiced out plans to capture the emerging EV market through investments in battery technology and production. Specifically, SK Innovation is in the process of expanding its investments in the sector by 10 percent within the next three years. By 2025, its goal is to hit 30 percent.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the plan is the company's massive effort to realign its existing petrol-focused products, as it is currently producing 4.4 percent of electrical power consumed globally.

"We will bet on EV batteries seriously. We have a proven track record in the field with supplying to Daimler and Hyundai Motor," said Kim Jun, chief executive of SK Innovation, at a press conference. "The number of battery orders will increase hugely. The main game will begin now."

To streamline its goals, the business is considering the establishment of new battery manufacturing plants in Hungary and the Czech Republic. At the moment, managers responsible for the project are seeking out building sites. If all goes according to plan, construction would take roughly one year, allowing operations inside the factory to start by the end of 2018. 

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