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Leaders of Hyundai Motor Company and SK form “battery alliance”

Leaders of Hyundai Motor Company and SK form “battery alliance”

Posted April. 17, 2021 07:24,   

Updated April. 17, 2021 07:24


Hyundai Motor Group and SK Innovation will jointly develop batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) to be launched in 2024. This is the first time in South Korea that a car manufacturer and a battery producer collaborate from the early stage of development. It is in response to strategic alliances that are actively being formed in the global electric vehicle market. It seems that “battery meetings” among the heads of major corporate groups in South Korea last year are producing results.

Hyundai Motor Company, Kia, and SK Innovation announced on Friday that they will begin the joint development of a pouch-type battery for HEVs. Hyundai Motor Company and Kia will participate from the early stage of development and directly choose detailed specifications, including battery materials. The two sides said an automobile-optimized battery in terms of both performance and economics will be created as car design and battery production will be carried out simultaneously.

It has been also reported that Hyundai Motor Group is jointly developing a cylindrical battery for HEVs with Samsung SDI. The launch date is yet to be decided, but it will be used in Hyundai Motor Company’s sedan HEVs. The automobile company is also in discussion with LG Energy Solution to set up a joint venture in Indonesia to use it as a hub of the electric car market in Southeast Asia.

Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group Chung Eui-sun led battery meetings with business leaders from May to July last year, having a series of meetings with Vice Chairman of Samsung Lee Jae-yong, Chairman of LG Koo Kwang-mo, and Chairman of SK Group Chey Tae-won. This is why those in the industry say that a consensus among different groups to target the global electric car market has led to cooperation between auto manufacturers and battery producers this year.

Such cooperation between the two sectors is already actively taking place in the global electric car market, with growing concerns over challenges in battery supply with the explosive growth of the electric car market. According to market research company SNE Research, the global battery supply for electric cars will be 1,097 GWh in 2025, while the global demand will reach 1,257 GWh, surpassing supply for the first time.

“Domestic and overseas car manufacturers are approaching battery producers as a potential worldwide shortage of electric car batteries is already detected in the production site,” said a source of the South Korean battery industry. “South Korean companies need to pursue multi-faceted cooperation to dominate the future mobility market.”

Do-Young Kwak now@donga.com