US car giant Ford has hired a key executive from battery maker Samsung SDI to develop electric vehicle batteries, TheElec has learned.
Ford named Kim Sung-hoon, who was a vice president at Samsung SDI, as Chief Battery Engineer, sources said.
This is the first time that the US carmaker has given a leadership position for batteries.
It has given such chief positions for new development projects for particular brands such as F Series, Explorers, and others but not for batteries.
Kim, prior to joining Ford, was responsible for the development of large batteries and their production lines at Samsung SDI.
He was promoted to executive in Samsung SDI in 2017 and held multiple key positions in the development of manufacturing technologies.
He was responsible for developing production processes and their application in the field.
As an example of a process, stacking is such a process technology, that Samsung SDI applied the production of its Gen 5 batteries.
Stacking allowed the company to stack battery materials such as anode, cathode, and separator into stacks.
Another process innovation is the combination of processes so that they can be done within one line.
Kim will likely work to increase the energy density of batteries produced by BlueOval SK, the battery joint venture between Ford and SK Innovation, another South Korean battery maker.
Ford had mostly used pouch batteries for its EVs but the hiring of Kim points to likely adoption of more battery types.
Samsung SDI specializes in prismatic batteries and Ford previously worked with CATL to build a joint prismatic battery.