SK Energy joins U.S.-led electric vehicle consortium

SK Energy Co., South Korea’s largest refiner, announced Friday it will join a technology assessment program led by the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), to share information on the development of advanced batteries for electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles.

SK Energy will jointly work with the USABC on evaluating lithium batteries applicable to electric vehicles for one year, where the USABC will fund half of the expenses, the company said.

"This move will play a significant role in helping SK Energy expand into the U.S. electric vehicle market," the company said in a statement.

SK Energy has been selected as the main battery provider of Daimler AG’s Mitsubishi Fuso hybrid electric vehicles last year, as well as the lithium battery provider for local brand CT&T’s low-speed electric car models, it added.

The USABC is a consortium comprised of the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., and Chrysler, that does research and development of advanced energy systems for electric and hybrid electric vehicles.

SK Energy was selected by Daimler to supply Lithium-ion batteries for Mitsubishi Fuso’s hybrid electric vehicles, one of the projects of Daimler’s Global Hybrid Center. This would enable SK Energy to participate in various hybrid and electric vehicles projects of Daimler as a preferred supplier.

Founded in 1962 as Korea’s first oil refiner, SK Energy is one of the world’s leading energy and petrochemical companies with nearly 5,600 employees, KRW 45.74 trillion in sales, overseas branch offices and subsidiaries in 19 countries as of the end of year 2008. The company is strategically positioned as Korea’s largest and Asia’s fourth largest refiner with a refining capacity of 1.12 million barrels per day.

SK Energy’s leadership allows it to maintain competitive advantages in regional refining markets while penetrating new markets around the world through a diversified business portfolio. SK Energy’s rapid growth in its business sectors coupled with an expanding position in China has increased its global footprint and helped position it as one of the most significant enterprises in Asia Pacific’s energy marketplace.