BASF SE enters battery making fray on longer term

Article by Anita Panait, on February 27, 2014

BASF SE is investing to enter the currently struggling auto battery industry, on the hopes that customers will still be attracted to electric vehicles. The company, learning from the failures of collapsed battery makers, will focus on making batteries that allows EVs to run longer. BASF has made battery materials one of the 10 areas it is targeting for growth. "We are committed," Adrian Steinmetz, head of global business management at BASF's battery materials unit, told Bloomberg in an interview. "Having this long-term strategy is typical of BASF." The company’s aim highlights a willingness by chief executive Kurt Bock to invest into a market where returns may take time.

Some rivals have already collapsed, no thanks to sluggish demand for electric cars and reputation issues due to fires that broke out in some Tesla vehicles. Israeli charging station developer Better Place Inc. filed for bankruptcy in 2013 while Evonik Industries AG is now looking for a buyer for its battery activities including a joint venture with Daimler AG.

Ironically, Evonik said six years ago that it wanted to become Europe's leading producer of lithium ion battery components. In October 2013, chief executive Klaus Engel remarked that the carmaker was abandoning the project. "The electric auto market was expected to soar in the direction of the sky," Joachim Krotz, partner at consultancy Oliver Wyman, told Bloomberg.

"But all of that didn't come true.” He noted that the increase of battery capacity is taking so long.  “They are still too heavy. They still lack power." Siemens AG has also closed its EV charging operations in 2013, citing slower-than-expected market growth. [source: Bloomberg]

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

It has been nearly eight years since Toyota entered a new era of sports cars when it officially unveiled the production version of the Toyota 86 – also known as...
by - February 27, 2019
The new Audi TT RS – yes, the top version of the German carmaker’s facelifted TT model series – is now officially here. If you could remember, the range-topping TT...
by - February 18, 2019
Nearly half a year ago when McLaren Automotive unveiled the McLaren 600LT Coupe, the British carmaker is now introducing a version that lets its passengers enjoy the thrill of an...
by - January 25, 2019
German carmaker Volkswagen is now making the latest evolution of the new Volkswagen Golf GTI -- the new Golf GTI TCR. First unveiled as a concept at the annual GTI...
by - January 24, 2019
It has been three and a half years since BMW unveiled the sixth generation of the BMW 7 Series. Thus, it is really about to give the 7 Series a...
by - January 17, 2019