It looks like Daimler AG doesn't plan to rely solely on suppliers for lithium ion batteries going forward. Traditionally, automakers prefer to keep most powertrain development in-house as one of the primary differentiators from other manufacturers. As these companies move forward into hybrid and electric drive vehicles, the battery pack is becoming an ever-more integral part of the powertrain.
Daimler has launched a joint venture with Evonik to develop lithium ion batteries. Daimler will apparently own 90 percent of the JV. Evonik already manufactures electrodes and separators for batteries and recently purchased a stake in Li-Tec. Evonik's electrodes are based on lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide chemistry. So far, there is no indication of when the JV will start producing batteries.
[Source: Green Car Congress]