Hyundai and Kia now cooperate with fellow South Korean cell manufacturer SK Innovation to develop and produce new batteries for hybrid vehicles. This involves optimized pouch cells that are to be used in new hybrid models from 2024.
SK Innovation, in its announcement, does not offer details on the planned hybrid vehicles or the cells. It only appears clear that they refer to HEVs, i.e. full hybrids, not plug-in hybrids.
According to the partners, Hyundai Motor Group and SKI will “work closely together from the design phase through product evaluation and performance improvement to develop batteries optimized for the characteristics of vehicles coming to market from Hyundai and Kia.” This should apply not only to battery performance but also to fuel economy, SKI said.
“We will be able to step up the competitiveness of our eco-friendly vehicles by cooperating with SK Innovation, a global battery technology company,” said Park Chan-young, head of Hyundai Motor Kia Powertrain Parts Purchasing Division. “We will cooperate in all areas, including battery development, mass production and quality assurance.”
This is not the first collaboration between the two South Korean companies: SKI supplied the cells for the ‘BlueOn,’ an electric car offered only in South Korea back in 2010. SKI is also the main supplier for the new E-GMP electric platform, on which the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 vehicles, among others, are based.
Last winter, SK Innovation and Hyundai had announced plans for extensive battery cooperation which also includes the Genesis brand in China. At the time, there was also talk of battery-as-a-service options but for fully electric vehicles rather than hybrids.
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