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Samsung, Hyundai Motor vice chairmen meet to discuss EV biz cooperation

Industry 10:49 May 13, 2020

SEOUL, May 13 (Yonhap) -- The vice chairman of South Korea's top conglomerate Samsung Group was to meet with his counterpart from Hyundai Motor Group on Wednesday to discuss possible cooperation in the electric vehicle (EV) business, sources said.

Samsung Group Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong will exchange views on Samsung's new all-solid-state battery technology with Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun, as well as discuss ways to cooperate.

The meeting will take place at Samsung SDI Co.'s plant in Cheonan, about 90 kilometers south of Seoul. Samsung SDI is a Samsung subsidiary that manufactures EV and smartphone batteries.

It marks the first time that Lee, group heir and Samsung Electronics vice chairman, has held a business meeting with Chung, heir apparent of auto giant Hyundai Motor Group.

Samsung Group Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong (L) shakes hands with Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun at a New Year's meeting in Seoul on Jan. 2, 2020. (Yonhap)

In early March, Samsung Electronics said its researchers have developed all-solid-state battery technology that is more efficient than existing ones.

Compared with lithium-ion batteries that are widely used in EVs, all-solid-state batteries boast greater energy density and are safer, as they utilize solid electrolytes instead of liquid electrolytes, according to Samsung.

Samsung said using such technology would enable an EV to drive up to 800 kilometers on a single charge with a life cycle of over 1,000 charges.

Hyundai is pushing to mass produce an electric vehicle based on its own EV platform called electric-global modular platform (E-GMP) next year.

The new platform will be installed on Hyundai Motor Co.'s new large-size EV with the project name NE and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors Corp.'s new crossover utility vehicle.

At the end of last year, Hyundai signed a 10 trillion won (US$8.2 billion) deal with SK Innovation Co., another South Korean EV battery maker, to purchase batteries for 500,000 EVs over the next five years.

The meeting comes as South Korea is ramping up efforts to promote the EV industry in line with the Korean version of the New Deal that also focuses on nurturing the system semiconductors and bio-health sectors.
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