Daimler AG, the maker of Mercedes-Benz premium vehicles plans to sell its battery-cell joint venture Li-Tec with Evonik Industries AG. Other options include bringing in a new partner, a spokeswoman from Evonik told Bloomberg.
“We are looking at different options to give Li-Tec a better long-term grounding in the very competitive global market for battery cells. We haven’t made a final decision,” Daimler said in a statement.
Daimler and Evonik Industries AG formed the company in 2008 in a try to give Mercedes vehicles an edge in electric cars over BMW. Daimler introduced last year the Smart electric drive and plans to launch next year it’s B-Class Electric Drive.
However, demand for electric vehicles was lower than expected and Li-Tec posted a loss of 26 million euros in 2011. Also the company expects operating losses for 2012 and 2013.
According to some experts, to have success, electric-only vehicles would require battery capacities to double or triple.