Hyundai Motor Group and SK Innovation Co. have agreed to cooperate in the development of a sustainable ecosystem for electric vehicle (EV) batteries that they claim is key to the future mobility industry.
The two parties have announced a plan to cooperate in diverse business areas related to the EV battery industry, including battery sales solutions, battery management service and battery reuse and recycling.
The collaboration stems from the companies’ shared need to create a battery value chain and strengthen eco-friendliness in business operations covering the entire lifecycle of EV batteries. To enable cooperation, both sides are focusing on the initial process of collecting and verifying the battery pack of Kia Motors’ e-Niro model.
Unlike existing cooperation schemes between mobility companies and battery companies that tended to centre on battery supply, the Hyundai-SK cooperation aims for what is described as a ‘virtuous cycle of battery usage known as the Battery as a Service (BaaS), which includes lease or rental service’. As a result, the cooperation is expected to catalyse the spread of diverse cooperation systems between mobility and battery companies.
Through this partnership, the two parties aim to strengthen the stability of the battery supply chain and create a virtuous cycle of resources from recycling to production; reduce carbon emissions; encourage optimal design that connects EVs and battery reuse, and create synergies by maximising added value through the optimal design of batteries.
In particular, the two companies will seek solutions that can maximise value and eco-friendliness of EV batteries, including reuse of batteries that are no longer useable in vehicles in diverse applications such as the Energy Storage Systems (ESS); and battery recycling that extracts economically valuable metals such as lithium, nickel and cobalt.
These innovations are expected to enhance the value and competitiveness of the battery recycling industry, which will buttress the future EV era, the companies claim.
Furthermore, Hyundai Motor Group and SK Innovation plan to synergise their respective affiliates’ business infrastructures and capabilities spanning diverse industries, thereby strengthening their battery competitiveness and expanding the growth of related sectors.
“Hyundai Motor Group’s cooperation with SK Innovation, a first-tier battery supplier for our Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) that will be introduced in 2021, marks a critical first step in maximising synergies between mobility and battery companies,” said Youngcho Chi, President and Chief Innovation Officer of Hyundai Motor Group. “We expect our cooperation to play an immensely positive role in strengthening Hyundai-Kia’s competitiveness in clean mobility as well as expanding the supply of eco-friendly EVs.”
“This collaboration between Hyundai Motor Group, which is leading the popularisation of EVs in the global market, and SK Innovation, which possesses the advanced technology in battery development and recycling, is highly meaningful in that the two have joined forces to collaborate across the entire EV cycle,” said Dongseob Jee, President of SK Innovation’s Battery Business. “Both companies will create a seamless collaboration system to explore new business opportunities across the whole battery value chain.”
Apart from collaborating with SK Innovation, Hyundai Motor Group says it is striving to secure and open up new markets by collaborating with global players specialising in EV battery reuse, including Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Wärtsilä, OCI, and Hanwha Solutions.