It appears Continental Automotive may be the first major company to start series production of automotive lithium ion batteries. According to an interview in German Magazine Auto Motor und Sport, Continental CEO Manfred Wennemer announced the company would start series production of automotive lithium ion battery packs in 2008. The article doesn't say who the cell supplier is or what customer the packs are intended for.
Continental is partnering with A123 Systems as one of two supplier teams producing prototype battery packs for the Chevy Volt program. When Mercedes-Benz announced their mild hybrid system at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, they stated that it would use lithium ion batteries although they didn't say who the supplier would be. Wennemer said initial production volumes be in the thousands rather than hundreds of thousands, but they expected it to grow quickly.

[Source: Auto Motor und Sport]

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