A global competition called the “EV & Battery Challenge” (EVBC) is to be sponsored by Kia Motors Corporation, Hyundai Motor Company, and LG Chem. EVBC aims to identify up to 10 electric vehicle and battery start-ups for potential investment and collaboration.
With multiple manufacturers focusing on making longer-lasting and more eco-friendly electric vehicles, the South Korean trio of companies are looking to startups for new and exciting technology. Both Kia and Hyundai have gained prominence in the electric vehicle market and are looking to improve their technology. Hyundai plans on releasing 23 new electric vehicle models by 2025, and is currently the world's fifth-largest carmaker by sales.
Battery producer LG Chem had the largest market share in the global EV battery business with 25.5 percent, during the January-April period. Earlier this week Chairman Koo met Hyundai EVC Chung Eui-Sun at LG Chem's local battery plant for the first time ever. The meeting grounded LG’s plan to prioritise the expansion of its battery business so as to fit in with the global government efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Even though the car industry has slumped due to the coronavirus pandemic, global sales in the EV market achieved 12 percent growth in April year-on-year.
The chosen start-ups will have the opportunity to work closely with Kia, Hyundai, and LG Chem, to develop concepts with their resources and laboratories. It’s not only batteries the companies are after but startups with new fleet management concepts, personalisation services and battery recycling systems are all encouraged to participate.
Last year, LG Chem hosted “The Battery Challenge” to discover innovative technologies in the battery business. This year Kia and Hyundai can have a lot to gain from the collaboration and potential new battery technology that could lower the unit cost of battery cells in their vehicles making their cars even more commercial.