(ATTN: UPDATES with statement by Hyundai Motor and background in paras 2-4, 9-10)
SEOUL, June 22 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Group's heir apparent met with the head of LG Group in the latest move to discuss cooperation in the electric vehicle (EV) battery business, Hyundai Motor said Monday.
Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Euisun and LG Group Chairman Koo Gwang-mo discussed how to cooperate on future EV batteries. The two also toured LG Chem Ltd.'s car battery plant in Ochang, 120 kilometers south of Seoul, Hyundai Motor said.
"The visit is meant to take a look at the current state of development of next-generation high-performance batteries to be installed in electric vehicle models and to share development trends of future batteries," Hyundai Motor said in a statement.
LG Group said it expects cooperation with Hyundai Motor Group, noting it is stepping up efforts to develop a game changer in future EV batteries, according to Hyundai Motor.
LG Chem has supplied lithium-ion car batteries to Hyundai Motor's all-electric vehicles, such as the Kona EV and the Ioniq Electric. It has been recently designated as a battery supplier for Hyundai's next-generation EV to be launched in 2022.
Hyundai Motor and LG Chem have recently agreed to explore overseas startups with advanced technologies in the EV and car battery fields to further expand into the high-potential businesses.
The move comes as Hyundai Motor Group is pushing to mass produce an electric car based on its own EV platform called the electric-global modular platform (E-GMP) next year.
The new platform will be installed in Hyundai Motor's new large EV under the project name NE and its smaller affiliate Kia's new crossover utility vehicle.
Hyundai and Kia have sold a combined 270,000 electric vehicles in South Korean and overseas markets since 2011. The two carmakers plan to unveil 44 eco-friendly vehicles, including 23 all-electric ones, by 2025.
Global carmakers have been racing to go electric amid tightened regulations on emissions of greenhouse gases, which scientists say are to blame for global warming.
Last month, Chung met with Samsung Group Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong to discuss possible cooperation in the EV business. Samsung SDI is a Samsung subsidiary that manufactures car and smartphone batteries.
Chung is also expected to meet with SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won. SK Innovation Co. supplies car batteries to Kia Motors Corp.'s all-electric models, such as the Soul EV and the Niro EV.
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