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buy apple developer account( - Another big EV battery fantasy, another letdown



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,Huge outlay: A worker assembles a part for Ford Motor at a manufacturing facility in Mexico. The company has partnered South Korea’s SK Innovation in a US$11.4bil electric car battery deal which is the biggest investment in its 118-year history. ― Bloomberg

THERE it is again: Another automaker makes a big announcement about its electrification plans with a battery manufacturer.

Going by previous proclamations, that’s not just ambitious but far-fetched.

Ford Motor Co and SK Innovation Co announced they’re partnering to spend US$11.4bil (RM47.8bil) on three electric car battery plants across the United States, making it the most sizeable investment in the automaker’s 118-year history.

The deal to build the biggest battery plant ever in America would catapult the South Korean firm to the status of a leading battery maker in the US and is also its largest single outlay. All very big.

It comes at a time when president Joe Biden’s administration has been talking up electric vehicle (EV) subsidies, including tax credits.

In addition, anything made in the US or with higher domestic content, including battery cells, would get more government support.

That’s on top of a new national blueprint for lithium-ion batteries, making it perfect timing for Ford and SK’s blockbuster investment.

There’s more to consider, however.

Beyond the potential feats the investment brings for the companies, it’s worth taking a closer look at their plans and the batteries they are promising.

Through the 129 gigawatt-hours of battery annual production capacity they will build, the firms expect to produce one million power packs for sport utility vehicles and trucks (like the all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup Biden recently took a ride in.)

SK’s focus has been on commercialising high-nickel content batteries, or NCMs.

Five years ago, it developed the NCM811 and now the Nickel 9 battery that’s 90% nickel.

This, the company said, will “be mass produced in the US, powering Ford’s F-150 Lightning.”

For starters, this type of battery has not yet proven to be entirely safe. While SK hasn’t registered an EV battery-related fire, high-nickel content power packs – although they deliver significant energy – have been known to be chemically unstable and prone to combust.

Such batteries forced General Motors Co to recall every EV Bolt vehicle that it’s made since 2017, at a total cost of US$1.8bil (RM7.5bil) to the firms involved.

The cars were equipped with the NCM type made by another South Korean company, LG Energy Solution, a unit of South Korean industrial giant LG Chem Ltd.

Yet the South Korean battery companies have continued to stay on this path.

That means they aren’t fully considering the cheaper, safer and more realistic option (the lithium iron phosphate, or LFP, power packs that the Chinese are focused on improving).


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