The Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive uses a Tesla battery pack (Photo: Daimler)
A new battery partner for Daimler may come from Asia, following the likely dissolution of the premium car maker's joint venture with Evonik, industry insiders say.
Daimler and Evonik founded their Li-Tec battery joint venture in 2008, but the two partners indicated earlier this year that they planned to change or end the cooperation. Evonik wants to pull out of the lithium-ion battery business altogether, according to a German press report.
Li-Tec focuses on the development of powerful lithium-ion batteries, but Evonik is said to be concerned about the high investments required. The two companies are also said to have disagreed over the need to add a third partner to the venture.
Li-Tec batteries are used in the electric version of Daimler's smart, but the company modified the battery system of the new Tesla S electric race car for its new electric Mercedes B-Class.