Hyundai & Seoul university open battery centre

Hyundai Motor Group has opened a joint battery research centre with Seoul National University (SNU). At the new research centre on the university’s main campus in Seoul, the car company will collaborate with leading battery experts in South Korea.

Hyundai says the research teams aim to create the basis for research and development of novel battery technologies. The focus is on next-generation batteries that can significantly increase the range of electric vehicles and shorten charging times, as well as technologies for monitoring battery status and innovative process technologies.

According to Hyundai, 22 joint research projects will be conducted in four areas, including lithium metal batteries, solid-state batteries, battery management systems (BMS) and battery process technology. Of these projects, 14 deal with lithium metal and solid-state batteries. The focus is on the technology of lithium electrolyte materials to increase service life and minimise wear. In addition, sulphide-based anode materials, electrode/electrolyte coating processes and active cathode materials with ultra-high energy density are also being researched around solid-state batteries.

The automotive manufacturer is investing around 30 billion won (the equivalent of 21.3 million euros) in the research centre. The teams will not only deal with theoretical research but also prototypes with a view to mass production. Hyundai points out that the battery centre at the university has the same infrastructure and equipment as the state-of-the-art research and development centres of Hyundai Motor and Kia. This includes precision equipment for battery analysis, high-precision rheometers, cell manufacturing equipment and impedance measuring equipment. Hyundai explains that this allows the university’s research results to be translated into products in a timely manner, whereby for industry and university research generally, additional time and cost are inevitable to apply the results to mass-produced products.

The new facility will be headed by Jang Wook Choi, who will oversee the 22 research projects mentioned above and will thus supervise not only the professors, master’s and PhD students from the participating universities but also the Hyundai and Kia employees who will be sent to work on the joint teams.

Hong Lim Ryu, President of Seoul National University, said: “The Joint Battery Research Center will be the starting point for battery technology with improved performance and robust safety in line with Hyundai Motor Group’s preemptive innovation in the field of electrification. We expect that the best faculty and graduate students will create synergy with Hyundai Motor Group’s competent researchers, laying the groundwork for various innovations ranging from the basics of batteries to applications.”

The project, which has been planned since 2021, is clearly important for the South Korean automotive giant. Euisun Chung, Executive Chair of Hyundai Motor Group attended the opening ceremony alongside his CTO Yong Wha Kim, Heung Soo Kim (Head of Global Strategy Office) and Chang Hwan Kim, Head of Battery Development Center of Hyundai Motor Group.


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