SK Innovation – supplier of batteries for the Ford F-150 Lightning and its joint venture with Ford, BlueOvalSK – got off to a bit of a rough start in the U.S. following a legal dispute with rival South Korean battery manufacturer LG Chem. Regardless, the two companies managed to reach a settlement recently, and now, SK Innovation is looking to the future by increasing its capacity and considering spinning off and listing its battery business, according to Reuters.
“We haven’t decided how to split the battery business,” said SK Innovation CEO Kim Jun. “It takes quite a lot of resources to further grow our growing battery business, so we are considering the spin-off as one of the ways to secure resources.”
SK’s battery business chief Jee Dong-seob said that the battery maker is considering the spin-off because it would help it raise additional funds to help expand its business, a move that LG Chem has already taken with the creation of LG Energy Solution – which manufactures batteries for Tesla and General Motors.
Jun said that SK wants to increase its annual capacity, currently 40 GWh, to 200 GWh by 2025. Previously, the company’s goal was to reach a capacity of 125 GWh in that time frame. The move comes as EV sales around the globe hit 2.5 million in 2020, yet are expected to grow by 70 percent in 2021.
BlueOvalSK is expected to produce upwards of 180 GWh by 2030, including batteries for Ford’s new IonBoost power system, while SK itself has another $115 billion in existing EV battery orders waiting to be filled, which equals one million TWh. The company is aiming to control around 20 percent of the total EV battery market by 2030.