By Choi Kyong-ae
SEOUL, July 7 (Yonhap) -- The heir apparent of Hyundai Motor Group met with the head of refinery-to-battery conglomerate SK Group on Tuesday to discuss cooperation in the electric vehicle (EV) business.
Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Euisun and SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won discussed cooperation on next-generation EV battery technologies, power management chips, and the "battery-as-a-service (Baas)" platform, the automaker said in a statement.
Baas is a breakthrough business model mainly for EV battery rental and replacement services.
Chung and Chey also discussed ways to strengthen the charging infrastructure for all-electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell EVs using SK Group's gas stations and charging stations, the statement said.
"The meeting was meaningful as we shared views on the direction of future car battery and related new technologies. Hyundai will continue to expand partnerships with companies with advanced technologies," Chung said.
The meeting took place at SK Innovation Co.'s EV battery plant in Seosan, 150 kilometers south of Seoul.
Currently, Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. use SK Innovation's lithium ion batteries for their plug-in hybrid vehicles and all-electric models.
Moreover, Hyundai designated SK Innovation as a major battery supplier to an electric car which Hyundai is pushing to mass produce based on its own EV platform, called the electric-global modular platform (E-GMP), from 2021.
At the end of last year, Hyundai Motor Group signed a 10 trillion won (US$8.2 billion) deal with SK Innovation to purchase batteries for 500,000 EVs over the next five years.
Chung also met with Samsung Group Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong and LG Group Chairman Koo Gwang-mo in May and June, respectively, to discuss possible cooperation in the EV business.
LG Chem Ltd. has supplied car batteries for 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 recently agreed to explore overseas startups with advanced technologies in the EV and car battery fields to expand into the high-potential businesses.
Chung and Samsung's Lee exchanged views on Samsung's development of new all-solid-state battery technology and its future business opportunities.
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 SDI Co. manufactures car and smartphone batteries.
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