SK Innovation will invest in a 25% stake in the new joint venture while Chinese battery manufacturer EVE Energy will take a 24% stake and local battery materials producer BTR will own 51% of the shares.

Cathodes are estimated to account for roughly 40% of the cost of lithium-ion batteries which make up a significant proportion of the cost of EVs.

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The new agreement has already been approved by EVE Energy’s board of directors but is still subject to final approval by SK Innovation’s board, the report suggested. It would allow SK Innovation to further strengthen its presence in the fast-growing Chinese EV battery sector.

SK Innovation and EVE already operate an EV battery manufacturing joint venture in the Chinese city of Yancheng.

SK Innovation’s battery materials subsidiary, SK IE Technology Company, last month opened a second EV battery separator factory in Changzhou, next to its first plant which was completed just six months earlier.