According to a media report, the South Korean car company Hyundai has invested around 100 million US dollars in a stake in the solid-state battery specialist SolidEnergy Systems (SES). Among the investors in SES is General Motors.
GM had led a 139 million US dollar investment round by the MIT spin-off in April. The news agency Yonhap, citing industry sources, now reports that the Korean company has also invested the equivalent of 84 million euros in SES. Hyundai did not respond to an enquiry from the news agency Reuters, so the information has not been confirmed by the company.
However, one of the sources of Yonhap apparently works at Hyundai. “As we have been investing in various companies related to electrification, our investment in SolidEnergy is part of that,” an unnamed Hyundai representative told the news agency. In April, Hyundai had announced during a conference call that it was working on solid-state batteries and planned to put the first vehicles with this technology into series production in 2030.
In 2016, SES had announced a lithium metal battery technology in which the anode is replaced by an extremely thin lithium foil, which could significantly increase the energy density to up to 500 Wh/kg. In March 2021 – shortly before the investment – GM and SES had already concluded a development agreement. This agreement provides for the construction of a prototype production line for the cells in Woburn in the US state of Massachusetts by 2023.
This is not Hyundai’s first investment in a solid-state battery start-up: the Korean company had already invested in Solid Power in 2018, which is now also supported by BMW and Ford.
Hyundai sources the lithium-ion batteries with liquid electrolyte for its current electric cars from SK Innovation and LG Energy Solution. Besides GM, battery partner SK also already has a stake in SolidEnergy.
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