Bosch & Samsung Partnership Opens New Li-Ion Battery Factory
ULSAN, South Korea - SB LiMotive Co. Ltd. – a since 2008 operating joint-venture of German Robert Bosch GmbH and South Korean Samsung SDI – has officially taken a new factory into operation. The Ulsan/South Korea based facility is concentrating on manufacturing lithium-ion battery cells for hybrid and electric vehicles. It is said that the batteries for the Bosch e-Bike drivetrain systems will also be manufactured in the new facility.
According to Franz Fehrenbach - chairman of the Bosch board of directors – with the new lithium-ion battery cells production facility “we are grasping the opportunity to shape the future of mobility”. Samsung SDI CEO Chi H. Choi confirms “the new plant will contribute to the success of vehicle electrification”. He also underlines that it was the Ulsan compound where Samsung SDI pioneered and took the leadership in the world market for consumer cells: “Now SB LiMotive will also manufacture the world’s top EV batteries, thus becoming the leader in the market.”
According to a press release following the groundbreaking ceremony for the new plant in September 2009 the new facility was constructed in just nine months. It covers an area of 24,000 square meters. Production will start with battery cells for pre-series production projects. Large-scale production will begin next year. Over the next years SB LiMotive forecasts to employ up to 1,000 people. By 2015, the company intends to boost its annual cell production capacity “to a good four gigawatt hours – enough for some 180,000 electric vehicles”. First customer is by the way German automobile giant BMW.
The Bosch-Samsung SDI joint-venture SB LiMotive Co. Ltd. has its headquarters and cell development and validation departments in Giheung (South Korea) and manufacturing facility in Ulsan. In Stuttgart-Feuerbach (Germany) battery systems are developed and prototypes built. In 2009 SB LiMotive acquired the US company Cobasys with its two sites in Orion/MI and Springboro/OH. All in all SB LiMotive employs around 700 people worldwide.