Heirs of Samsung and Hyundai Motor Groups Agree to Cooperate in Electric Vehicle Sector
Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong (left) and Hyundai Motor Group senior vice chairman Chung Eui-sun
Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Group, and Chung Eui-sun, senior vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, have agreed to cooperate in fostering the electric vehicle (EV) industry, which has been selected as one of the key projects of the “Korean-style New Deal.” This marked the first time that the heads of the two groups representing Korea met face to face for business cooperation.
Hyundai Motor Group’s top executives visited Samsung SDI’s Cheonan plant on May 13 and were greeted by Samsung Group top executives. They shared views on the current status of the development of all-solid-state batteries, which are next-generation EV batteries, and had lunch together.
The Hyundai executives included Chung, Albert Wiermann, president of the Hyundai and Kia R&D Headquarters, and Seo Bo-shin, president in charge of products. From Samsung Group were Lee, Jeon young-hyun, president of Samsung SDI, and Hwang Seong-woo, president of the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology.
The Cheonan plant produces small batteries and automotive batteries. The executives of both companies received a briefing on global trends in development of all-solid-battery technology and Samsung’s development efforts from executives of Samsung SDI and the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology. After discussing issues of mutual interest, they toured a site for the advanced development of batteries for electric vehicles.
Recently, the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology unveiled through Nature Energy its innovative technology for all-solid-state batteries that enable EVs to run up to 800 kilometers on one single charge. This technology is the world’s first precipitation type lithium cathode technology that applies a five-micrometer-thick silver-carbon nanoparticle composite layer to an all-solid-state battery cathode, boosting safety and lifespan. Furthermore, the technology can halve the size of batteries compared to current products.
Hyundai and Kia will launch a total of 44 green vehicles by 2025, with more than half of them being pure EVs. Currently, LG Chem batteries go into Hyundai EVs, and SK Innovation batteries power Kia EVs. Hyundai and Kia selected SK Innovation as the main supplier of batteries for their pure EVs, which are expected to be mass-produced in early 2021, and will place a 10 trillion won order for about 500,000 batteries for five years.
The meeting between the top executives of the two groups suggests the possibility of Samsung SDI winning a new contract from Hyundai and Kia.
The EV industry is a field which the Korean government has pledged to foster intensively as an item of the Korean-style New Deal. Industry watchers say that the two groups held this meeting to actively respond to government policies.