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Hyundai Motor, SK Innovation to partner on EV battery ecosystem

Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Euisun (right) shakes hands with SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won at SK Innovation’s electric vehicle battery plant in Seosan, South Chungcheong Province, in July. (Hyundai Motor)
Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Euisun (right) shakes hands with SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won at SK Innovation’s electric vehicle battery plant in Seosan, South Chungcheong Province, in July. (Hyundai Motor)
Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors will work together with SK Innovation to develop an electric vehicle battery ecosystem, the automaker said Tuesday.

Hyundai said the companies will build a cooperation system involving various business areas related to the rental of electric vehicle batteries, battery management services, and the reuse and recycling of EV batteries.

Both sides agreed that it is necessary to create high added value and strengthen the eco-friendliness of electric vehicle batteries throughout their life cycle, according to the automaker.

“Unlike existing mobility-battery businesses, which focused on battery supply, the partnership aims at the battery life cycle, which is called ‘battery-as-a-service’ in a virtuous cycle. This will serve as an opportunity to spread more diverse cooperative systems in the mobility-battery industry in the future,” an official said.

Through this partnership, the two sides will reduce carbon dioxide emissions, optimize design to link electric cars and batteries, and establish a virtuous cycle that encompasses all processes in a battery’s life cycle from production to recycling.

This is the first detailed plan for cooperation between the automaker and the battery maker since the meeting between Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Euisun and SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won in July.

Hyundai said the partners will actively seek ways to maximize the added value and eco-friendliness of electric vehicle batteries -- for instance, by extracting metals such as lithium, nickel and cobalt from vehicle batteries and reusing EV batteries for energy storage systems.

The companies are currently working together to collect and verify battery packs that are used in Niro EV vehicles. 

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)

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