By on February 25, 2014

BASF BMW M1 Procar

Though some electric vehicles have seen their share of woes, from fires in individual cars to bankruptcies filed by manufacturers, German chemical maker BASF is going in for the long game by investing in the EV battery market.

Bloomberg reports the world’s largest chemical maker will use a part of its annual $2.3 billion R&D budget on battery materials — one of 10 areas targeted for growth by BASF — in the pursuit of a better battery that will help EVs run longer. Company head of global business management for BASF’s battery materials unit Adrian Steinmetz says his employer is committee to making the battery materials focus a success, noting that newer and safer batteries with a higher capacity will prove beneficial to the overall EV market:

The battery can only be as good as the chemistry inside. It’s a very technically demanding field and you really need to understand the whole interplay between different chemical compounds.

To accomplish this goal, BASF has bought four companies, established a nickel cobalt manganese plant in the United States, and bought patent licenses from rival Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp, one of three market leaders — the others being Sumitomo Chemical and Ube Industries — whose dominance over lithium-ion technology, aided by proximity to related tech industries, reigns supreme.

By 2020, BASF aims to be one of the top three battery materials suppliers, pushing overall market valuation to $20 billion in the same time frame. Part of this plan includes taking the fight to the home turf of their Asian rivals, already begun with the company’s establishment of a battery materials research and development center in Amagasaki, Japan. The R&D unit provides BASF with the majority of its Asian sales.

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9 Comments on “BASF Investing In EV Battery Market Despite Industry Setbacks...”

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    I have no intention on discussing the merits of the article, and only want to note the awesome photo of that M1…

  • avatar

    ” .. with sales expected to hit $686.7 billion”

    I bet. Two thirds of a trillion bucks? Just by BASF? That’s more than the retail value of 15 million cars at $30 grand apiece.

  • avatar

    I’d like to hijack this thread and talk about something more interesting, like compact cassette formulations, the only time I’ve ever encountered BASF.

    I still remember how miserable tape formulations were, particularly with Type I formulations. I remember what made BASF different was the fact that their coatings didn’t flake off, and they had premium protective shells. Things got better with the Type II chrome dioxide tapes, and some of my favorite mix tapes were on Pioneer branded tapes. My best recordings were with Dolby C and Sony metal Type IV, which were pretty close enough to CD quality at the time, as long as I picked a formulation that best matched my JVC tape deck and took the time to select an appropriate tape bias.

    It’s all moot now, considering everything is digital and the maddening quirks of analog have gone away.

    • 0 avatar

      Nak decks all the way!

      A whole different way to experience bias adjustment ;)

      • 0 avatar

        Another way is to get a macbook pro, load it full of quality songs. Then using the TOSLINK facility run it through a DAC into some nice vintage Hi-Fi equipment.
        Select a playlist, crack a cold beer, enjoy.

    • 0 avatar

      Chances are you’re driving a car with BASF paint. When I left them 5 years ago they had around 28% of the market for OEM coatings; DuPont and PPG were the main competitors to round out the top three.

      • 0 avatar

        I had BASF paint on my Golf GTI. One time I ended up at a GM dealer to re-spray my hatch cuz they used BASF paint system.

        I also had BASF 5-1/4″ low-density floppy disks back in the 80’s tho not sure if they were any better than the Japanese or American brands.

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