SB LiMotive, the company recently chosen to replace A123 Systems as the sole supplier for lithium-ion batteries for the electric Fiat 500
, has announced plans to produce lithium-ion cells in massive quantities by the middle of this decade. Providing li-ion power for 180,000 electric vehicles
annually by 2015 – SB LiMotive's announced target – will require increased production capacity, as well as a significant investment from joint venture partners Bosch and Samsung SDI.
On the production front, SB LiMotive opened the doors of its new plant in Ulsan, South Korea just days ago. Within a few years, this plant will be fully operational and should be able to crank out battery cells at the furious rate required to keep pace with SB LiMotive's ambitious goals. Who pays for all this? The battery maker is counting on its joint venture partners to hand over $500 million by 2013 to fund its expansion efforts.