Hyundai Motor Group to launch BaaS in South Korea this year

Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) could start offering Battery as a Service (BaaS) in its EVs in South Korea this year. The new service is aimed to make its EVs more accessible in the domestic market.

Image: Kia

The Hyundai Motor Group aims to launch a battery subscription service in South Korea in the second half of this year. According to a company official, it is currently in the service demonstration stage and will roll out utilisation plans upon completion. Additionally, the company faces a legal hurdle in introducing BaaS in the home market.

The current ‘Automobile Management Act’ in South Korea bars companies from launching a battery subscription service. It states the battery is a product linked to the car and doesn’t allow automakers to separate its ownership. The government is already working on an amendment to give interested companies like HMG the green signal to launch BaaS.

HMG will offer BaaS in commercially available vehicles like the Kia Niro Plus. The Purpose-Built Vehicle (PBV) based on the first-gen Kia Niro Electric uses a 150 kW/395 Nm motor and a 64 kWh battery pack and can travel 392 km on a full charge. It costs KRW 46 million (approx. €31,000) onwards and its price includes a 10-year/200,000 km warranty for the high-voltage battery pack.

The traction battery pack is the most valuable single component of an EV. In South Korea, it accounts for about 40% of the cost of an electric car worth KRW 50 million (approx. €33,500). Excluding the battery’s full cost can lead to a significantly lower upfront retail price, making them significantly more affordable. Battery swapping will give customers more flexibility, as they can upgrade to a more advanced battery pack when they need more range or downgrade when they don’t need as much range and want to save more. (in Korea), (paywall)


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