Hyundai to Invest $100 M in Solid-state Battery Developer Solid Energy

Highlights :

  •  Hyundai Motor Co will invest $100 million in solid-state battery specialist Solid Energy System (SES) corporations.
  • Not Hyundai’s first investment in a solid-state battery start-up; in 2018, the Korean company had invested in Solid Power, which is now also supported by BMW and Ford.

Hyundai Motor Co, a South Korean automotive manufacturer of international repute, will invest USD 100 million in solid-state battery specialist Solid Energy System (SES) corporations, according to recent media reports. The company appears to have signed an equity investment agreement with SES.

A spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Solid Energy has developed a prototype lithium metal battery, a next-generation battery that made up for the shortcomings of existing lithium batteries. Based on this technology, it signed a joint research contract with General Motors in March. SES’ other shareholders include SK Inc, Tianqi Lithium Corp, etc.

Solid Energy and General Motors are planning to construct a lithium metal battery test production plant near Boston by 2023, and will commercialise it in 2025. In April, Hyundai said during its earnings call that the company had been developing solid-state batteries and planned to mass produce electric vehicles (EV) using solid-state batteries in 2030. The company currently sources its batteries for its EVs from SK Innovation Co Ltd and LG Chem Ltd’s wholly-owned LG Energy Solution.

This is not Hyundai’s first investment in a solid-state battery start-up. In 2018, the Korean company had invested in Solid Power, which is now also supported by BMW and Ford. Hyundai Motor is said to be currently focusing on strengthening its ‘battery internalization’ strategy through investment. The company aims to mass-produce the next-gen solid-state battery by 2027.

Additionally, Hyundai has been working on providing smart mobility solutions and recently announced the up-gradation in design and performance of its hydrogen-powered XCIENT fuel cell heavy-duty truck. The company said that with these updates, Hyundai’s zero-emission heavy-duty vehicle will become even more attractive to corporate fleet customers all over the world. Trucks have been seen as a more attractive use case for hydrogen-powered transportation, considering the long distances they travel, an area where hydrogen is seen to have a slight advantage over EV’s.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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