US-based lithium-metal battery developer SES AI Corporation (SES) has incorporated its subsidiary SES Korea and plans to build a pre-production facility in South Korea.
Headquartered in Boston, the firm wants to build the Korean plant to enable the company to work with vehicle OEMs and establish arrangements for the joint development of A-sample batteries.
SES has automotive A-sample joint development agreements with General Motors Company, Hyundai, and Honda Motors.
SES Korea will be SES’s second major operation outside of the US after SES Shanghai Giga; both entities will focus on different aspects of supply chain development and different A-sample joint development with auto OEMs.
Last November, the firm said its 300,000 square foot lithium-metal battery factory in Shanghai, China would be capable of producing more than 1GWh of batteries in 2023, with the company aiming to start commercialisation of lithium-metal batteries two years later.
SES says the cash raised by its business combination with Ivanhoe Capital Acquisition Corp. and listing on the New York Stock Exchange would help to accelerate the developments.
Hans Kim, Vice President & Head of SES Korea, said: “South Korea is a powerhouse of EV battery development, so we couldn’t be in a better position in terms of having a long-term base in Korea where we will contribute to the development of cell manufacturing equipment and process development, joint development with auto OEMs, and supply chain development.”
SES is backed by strategic investors including GM, Hyundai, Honda, Geely Auto Group, SAIC Motor, SK, Koch, Applied Materials, Inc., Tianqi Lithium HK Co. Ltd., Vertex Ventures Holdings, Temasek Holdings Limited, affiliates of LG and Foxconn Technology Group and several others.
Formerly known as SolidEnergy Systems, SES was founded in 2012, and has operations in Singapore, Shanghai, and Seoul.
Battery development milestones
SES projects that its technology will reach 400 Wh/kg/1,000 Wh/L and is capable of 80% charge in less than 15 minutes.
SES has produced more than 15,000 multi-layer lithium-metal cells on its own production lines, which are similar to those used for lithium-ion cell manufacturing.
Last November, SES launched a 107Ah lithium-metal battery for the automotive industry.
The Apollo cell will be manufactured at SES’ 1GWh lithium-metal Shanghai Giga facility.
The firm says the battery weighs 0.982kg, and has a specific energy of 417Wh/kg and energy density of 935 Wh/L.
SES said the battery demonstrated similarly high capacity and energy density when tested at C/10 (10 hour discharge), C/3 (three hour discharge), and 1C (one hour discharge) at room temperature.
(Photo: Business Wire)