Daimler-Renault partnership enters lithium-ion feud

Kharl Prado April 18, 2010


With barely a month since their contract-signing, partners Daimler AG and Renault-Nissan are already coming face-to-face with their apparent differences. Despite having agreed to share resources to develop vehicles and engines, they left one common denominator out of the deal – lithium-ion batteries. Both giants are looking to develop their own brand of lithium-ion packs. Daimler AG is going to work with Evonik to build a lithium-ion factory in Kamenz, Germany. Renault-Nissan, on the other hand, has teamed with Japan’s largest personal computer company, NEC, to set up five shops in Japan, the UK, France, Portugal and the U.S. Neither of the companies plans to give way to the other.

The race to build the best lithium-ion power pack for their cars may spark reasons for the partnership’s demise. If both companies choose to go their own way, their plans to work together in the future may be compromised, according to Mike Tyndall, an automotive expert based in London. With both CEO’s aiming to make their company the pioneer in electric drive systems, it’ll all boil down to which company will be able invest the most on developing the technology and offering the most competitive prices upon entering the market.

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