Hyundai Motor plans to invest KRW114bn (US$100m) in US battery technology company SolidEnergy Systems (SES), according to local reports citing industry sources.

South Korea’s leading automaker is looking to strengthen its partnership with the US technology startup to ensure it has access to the most advanced battery technology available, as global vehicle demand is forecast to shift completely to zero-emission vehicles over the next two decades.

This is the latest in a series of investments by Hyundai in leading edge technology startups, as it looks to transform itself into a global mobility technology leader.

The automaker sold 94,435 hybrid and zero emission vehicles globally in the first six months of 2021, a more than 39% year-on-year rise.

Affiliate Kia Corporation’s sales of these vehicles amounted to 43,350 units in the same period.

SolidEnergy Systems claims its lithium-metal solid state batteries provide a safer, cost-effective and high-performance alternative to lithium-ion batteries which are the most widely-used power sources in the global electric vehicle market at present.

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In March SolidEnergy Systems announced a partnership with US automaker General Motors to jointly develop lithium-metal battery systems for its vehicles.