Hyundai-Kia and SK Group heads discuss future EV collaboration

Hyundai Motor Group executive vice chairman Chung Euisun this week met with the chairman of South Korean conglomerate SK Group, Chey Tae-won, to discuss opportunities to collaborate on electric vehicles (EVs).

SK Group has a diversified spread of operations spanning energy, chemicals, shipping, telecommunications and semiconductors.

It is also a major manufacturer of lithium ion batteries for EVs and plug in hybrid vehicles and counts Hyundai-Kia and Daimler's Mercedes-Benz among its key customers.

At the end of last year Hyundai Motor Group signed a KRW10 trillion (US$8.4bn) agreement to purchase 500,000 EV batteries from SK Group over a five year period.

Local battery manufacturer LG Chem is also a major supplier of EV batteries to HMG.

The two company chiefs met at the SK Group battery plant in Seoson in western South Korea to discuss cooperation on next generation EV battery technology as well as power management semiconductors and 'battery as a service' (BAAS) – a new business model which provides EV battery rentals and replacements to consumers.

They also discussed opportunities to strengthen EV and hydrogen fuel cell vehicle recharging/refueling infrastructure in South Korea through the nationwide SK Group network of petrol and charging stations.

After the meeting Chung said "the meeting was meaningful as we shared views on the direction of future car batteries and related new technology. We will continue our policy of expanding our partnerships with companies that have advanced technologies".

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