Chairpersons of Hyundai & Samsung meet to discuss EV collaboration, say Korean media

The top management of the Hyundai Motor Group and Samsung Group have met to discuss possible collaboration in the EV business that could utilize Samsung’s solid-state battery technology for Hyundai’s EVs.

Reports from South Korea detailed that Chung Euisun, Executive Vice Chairman, Hyundai Motor Group and Lee Jae-yong, Vice Chairman, Samsung Group met at Samsung SDI Co’s plant Cheonan, situated south of Seoul, that manufactures batteries. In the month of March 2020, Samsung revealed that they have developed a solid-state battery tech for EVs that overcomes the general issues surrounding the EVs like the range and life cycle of the batteries.

The team from Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) and the Samsung R&D Institute Japan (SRJ) replaced the lithium metal anode in the solid-state batteries with a thin solver-carbon layer. This has resulted in a battery with higher capacity, better safety and increases the life cycle of the battery. The prototype battery offered a range of around 800 km in a single charge and has a lifecycle of 1000 recharges, which means a battery that can last 800,000 km. The battery pack is also 50 per cent smaller than a regular lithium-ion battery that makes it highly suitable for application even in small cars or sportscars where weight saving is critical.

On the other hand, Hyundai is investing heavily in mass-production of EVs and has developed a dedicated electric platform, E-GMP (Electric Global Modular Platform) that will be used by Hyundai and Kia for a wide range of products. The first car from Hyundai to be built on this platform is the Hyundai 45 EV (codename: Hyundai NE EV) that is expected to be unveiled in January 2021. Other cars that will immediately capitalize this base are the Hyundai Prophecy and the Kia CV crossover (based on the Kia Imagine Concept). The Hyundai Motor Group announced this year that it would have 23 pure electric models by 2025.

If Samsung and Hyundai decide to collaborate, it would be a few years before we see market-ready products that have none of the limitations of current electric vehicles. The new battery technology is still in the research stage and will take a few years before they can be used in mainstream EVs.

It is to be noted that towards the end of 2019, Hyundai signed a deal worth $8.2 billion with Samsung’s rival SK Innovation for the supply of 500,000 batteries for EVs across a 5-year period.

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