South Korea’s SB LiMotive, a joint venture of Samsung SDI Co. Ltd. and Robert Bosch GmbH, will supply lithium ion battery packs for the Fiat 500EV.
Under the contract that the parties had recently inked, the battery packs will be developed at a manufacturing center in suburban Detroit, particularly at SB LiMotive's North American Development Center in Orion Township, Mich.
Assembly will be done in Springboro, Ohio, while the cells will be built in South Korea. SB LiMotive was brought in to replace A123 Systems LLC, with plants in Livonia and Romulus.
Last August, A123 pulled out of the project because it expected a rival to supply the batteries for a lower price and that the volumes planned had been “significantly diminished."
Chrysler justified the choice of SB LiMotive, saying that it is able to supply high-quality lithium-ion battery packs “in the quantities needed, on-time to the market," according to a statement from Joachim Fetzer, executive vice president of SB LiMotive.
He pointed out that its “established global footprint” was one of its strong points. The Fiat 500EV will be the first electric car in Chrysler Group LLC's lineup and the first electric car in the U.S. for Turin, Italy-based Fiat S.p.A.
Last year, Chrysler and Fiat entered an alliance last year, under U.S. government pressure, when Chrysler was under bankruptcy. The Fiat 500EV is expected to be launched in the US in 2012. It is being developed by Chrysler in Auburn Hills.