Hyundai reportedly invests $100 million in a battery startup

The reported by Yonhap, claims that the South Korean automaker has made an investment in US-based SolidEnergy System

Hyundai Motor Co. has invested about $100 million to buy a stake in a lithium metal battery startup – SolidEnergy System (SES), as per a report by Yonhap, a major South Korean news agency. 

The automaker is continuously expanding its electric horizon lately and this latest deal will be a part of its long term future plans.

“As we have been investing in various companies related to electrification, our investment in SolidEnergy is part of that,” an official at Hyundai Motor told Yonhap.

Founded in 2012, SES is a US-based all-solid-state battery developer, which was spun off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). SolidEnergy is well-known for its development of anode-free lithium metal batteries and its shareholders include General Motors Co., SK Inc. and Tianqi Lithium Corp., among others.

These batteries are said to have 10 times more energy density compared to lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). General Motors even announced a partnership with SES in March 2021, to boost its battery development, allowing for increased electric vehicle driving range in a smaller package.

Analysts say that Hyundai’s investment decision in SES is aimed at securing technology for next-generation batteries under the automaker’s strategy to internalise batteries. Hyundai currently sources its batteries for its EVs from SK Innovation Co. Ltd and LG Chem Ltd.’s wholly-owned LG Energy Solution.

In April, Hyundai said during its Q1 earnings call that the company had been developing solid-state batteries and had put significant focus to expand its research team on the development of next-generation batteries at its R&D headquarters. The South Korean auto giant had also expressed its plans to mass-produce electric vehicles (EVs) using solid-state batteries in 2030.

Some reports also suggest that this investment will help Hyundai Motors with its future development plans for the urban air mobility (UAM) market, which is expected to hit 360 trillion Won (around 319 Billion USD) by 2030. Another report also said that the company will also focus on developing hydrogen fuel cell-based UAM for logistics and transportation in Korea.

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Himanshu Harsh

My love for automobiles is what fuels my writing. You can catch me twisting synth knobs when I'm not drooling over cars.

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