As for now, the companies announce focusing on cathode materials while leaving details of further cooperation, including battery recycling, for a later date. “The collaboration brings together strong business and product development capabilities to develop industry-leading battery materials for lithium-ion batteries,” writes BASF.
Still, with details remaining undisclosed, it remains to be seen how deep the collaboration will go. Many scopes are possible, from development cooperation to a supplier relationship or joint production. For example, BASF is building a cathode material factory in Canada, which could supply SK On’s US factories with customised cathode materials. BASF also produces cathode materials in Japan in the joint venture BASF Toda Battery Materials. At the same time, SK On is a battery partner of Ford and Hyundai in the USA.
In the announcements, both companies also outline other areas beyond cathode materials. “Additional collaboration opportunities along the battery materials value chain will be evaluated subsequently, including battery recycling,” writes BASF.
Peter Schuhmacher, President of BASF’s Catalysts division, who is also responsible for the company’s battery materials and battery recycling business, said, “We want to address the need for more sustainable solutions for the electric vehicle industry. And we are ready to work with our customers and partners in all regions to make this a reality.”
“The collaboration with BASF is part of our efforts to bolster the battery materials supply chain,” said Jee Dong-Seob, President and CEO of SK On.