Following its participation in 2019 and 2020, this year, SK Innovation once again has presented its innovative technologies at InterBattery 2021, the largest exhibition of battery industry in Korea. The event is behing held in COEX, Seoul, for three days from June 9th to 11th.
ㅣ SK Innovation’s outstanding battery technology and strong global partnership
The total area of SK Innovation’s booth at InterBattery 2021 is 360m², which is 1.6 times larger than last year. The company displays its outstanding technology based on three main themes: ▲”Safer than EVer” (safety), ▲”Faster than EVer” (quick charging speed), and ▲ “Longer than Ever” (long-distance driving range). These are the factors that SK Innovation considers the most important requirements for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, as well as the strong points of the company.
Upon entering the booth, visitors are greeted by the latest battery entitled “Next Battery”, which shows SK Innovation’s pride and technology.
▲ (Left) SK Innovation’s booth at InterBattery 2021 / (Right) “Next Battery” is introduced by SK Innovation
At the front sides of the booth, SK Innovation displayed various electric cars that are equipped with the company’s EV batteries. The purpose of this layout is to show that SK Innovation’s unrivaled battery technology and quality are widely trusted by global automakers.
An IONIQ 5 – the first model in Hyundai’s new IONIQ brand dedicated to battery electric vehicles – is displayed at the front left side of SK Innovation’s booth. IONIG 5 is loaded with NCM8 battery of SK Innovation. SK Innovation’s NCM8 is a high-nickel battery that uses about 80% of nickel (Ni), the highest level in the industry at the moment. In particular, as the performance of the NCM8 battery increases, it is currently considered a type of EV battery that is hard to be mass produced due to safety issues. The driving range of IONIQ 5 is about 429 km, and it can be charged up to 80% in just 18 minutes with high-speed charging.
▲ A IONIQ 5 electric car that is equipped with SK Innovation’s NCM8 battery is displayed at SK Innovation’s booth at InterBattery 2021
Kia Motors’ EV6, which is about to be released soon, is also introduced through a 3D video displayed on a “magic mirror” inside SK Innovation’s booth. The Kia EV6 will be equipped with the same battery as the Hyundai IONIQ 5.
At the front center of SK Innovation’s booth is Ford Motors’ F-150. F-150 is Ford’s flagship pickup truck model and the best-selling car in North America in the last 39 years. It has a significant meaning that a pickup truck, which emphasized the power and durability of the internal combustion engine, can be converted to an electric vehicle with SK Innovation’s battery installed. SK Innovation will supply this Ford’s pickup truck with NCM9, which is considered the most powerful lithium-ion battery at the moment.
▲ Ford’s F-150 pickup truck (left) and NCM9 battery (right) are displayed at SK Innovation’s booth
NCM9 is a battery that has the proportion of nickel up to approximately 90%. Nickel is a mineral that has the greatest influence on battery output and driving range. As NCM9 has high energy, it is difficult to manufacture without advanced technology that ensures safety. SK Innovation completed the production of this battery with its exclusively unrivaled safety technology and will supply it to Ford from next year.
In the History Zone, visitors can learn more about the history of SK Innovation’s battery business, from how the company discovered the potential of lithium-ion batteries from 25 years ago, SK Innovation’s step-by-step preparation and long-term research, to large-scale investment that have made the company stand at the forefront of EV battery industry today.
▲ History Zone inside SK Innovation’s booth at InterBattery 2021
ㅣ SK Innovation’s battery: Safer than EVer, Faster than EVer, Longer than EVer
“Safer than Ever, Faster than Ever, Longer than Ever” – the core of SK Innovation’s EV battery technology, can be found in more detail in the Tech Zone.
In particular, the “Safer than EVer” zone introduces SK Innovation’s key to securing safety while producing high-performance batteries. The battery maker is proud to present its remarkable safety without a single case of fire accident after supplying 270 million battery cells so far.
The first key is in the separator manufactured by SK IE Technology, a subsidiary of SK Innovation. With its proprietary technology, SK IE Technology can manufacture a thin but sturdy separator with a thickness of 5 micrometers, one twenty-fifth of human hair thickness. A thin separator allows the ions that generate electricity to move actively, resulting in higher output and faster charging speed. However, if the separator is thin but made without sufficient technical skills, it can easily tear and cause fire.
▲ “Safter than EVer” zone inside SK Innovation’s booth at InterBattery 2021
The second key to SK Innovation’s safe batteries is its “Z folding” technology. It is the technology that wraps the anode and cathode in zigzags, thereby significantly reducing the possibility of two materials coming into contact and allowing precise manufacturing even in high-speed production systems.
Last but not least, SK Innovation’s battery pack technology has thermal propagation test. Thermal propagation test refers to a safety measure where heat does not spread to surrounding cells when a fire occurs in some cells in a battery pack, where dozens of battery cells are lined up. Fundamentally, SK Innovation’s self-designed E-pack can block heat, so it can prevent spreading fire.
SK Innovation allowed visitors to watch the actual fire test video in the “Safer than EVer” zone. Through this, visitors can confirm that even if one cell is ignited inside the battery pack, it does not transfer to other cells inside the pack, and the flame is not exposed to outside environment for more than 5 minutes.
The “Faster Than EVer” zone introduces a high-speed charging technology that can fully charge within just 15 minutes. The key is the multi-tab technology, which increases the number of anode and cathode tabs to two, which had been only one each in the existing batteries. Electrons must move from the anode to the cathode for the battery to charge, so if the number of tabs is increased to two, the distance traveled by electrons is reduced by half. Hence, the shorter the travel time of electrons, the shorter the charging time a battery requires.
▲ “Faster than EVer” zone and “Longer than EVer” zone inside SK Innovation’s booth at InterBattery 2021
In the “Longer than EVer” zone, SK Innovation introduces its unique post-generation cathode and anode material technologies that can extend the driving range of batteries as well as module technologies that can maximize the internal space efficiency of batteries.
Aside from this, SK Innovation also introduces the future battery circular economy model with various BaaS (Battery as a Service) models that are currently being promoted, such as ▲Battery condition analysis platform, ▲Battery replacement station, ▲Metal extraction from waste batteries, etc. In addition, visitors can check the information of SK Innovation’s global battery production bases and production scale, which are rapidly growing based on its unrivaled technology
▲ The global footprints (left) and BaaS models (right) are shown inside SK Innovation’s booth
On the first day of the event, Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Moon Seung-wook and President of SK Innovation’s Battery Business Jee Dong-seob attended the opening ceremony of InterBattery 2021. They also visited SK innovation’s booth checked SK innovation’s unrivaled battery technology. Welcoming the guests, President Jee showed confidence in the company’s battery business and said, “We will lead the battery market by continuously developing innovative technologies such as safety, high-speed charging, and long driving-range.”
▲ (Left photo) Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Moon Seung-wook (right) and President of SK Innovation’s Battery Business Jee Dong-seob (left) participate in the opening ceremony of InterBattery 2021 / (Right photo) (From left) Head of SK Innovation’s Battery Martketing Division Kim Yoo-suk, Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Moon Seung-wook, President of SK Innovation’s Battery Business Jee Dong-seob tour around SK Innovation’s booth.