Hyundai Motor Group, owner of South Korea’s two largest automakers Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp., has joined IONITY, a pan-European electric vehicle charging network backed by global auto giants, through a 20 percent equal interest with other automaking majors.
Hyundai Motor Group said on Monday that it signed an investment and strategic business partnership agreement with IONITY, becoming a new shareholder with 20 percent ownership along with BMW Group, Daimler AG, Volkswagen Group, and Ford Motor Company. The agreement was signed at IONITY head office in Munich, Germany, on Friday, local time. Details of the total investment amount were not disclosed.
IONITY – founded in 2017 as a joint venture – aims to build an extensive 350 kilowatt (kW) high-power-charging network, which is up to 7 times faster than existing high-speed charger. Hyundai Motor Group expects joining the venture as a strategic partner would help expand sales of its high voltage electric vehicles that is currently being developed independently. Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors plan to load 800-volt battery system that enables high-speed charging to its electric vehicle models being released after 2021.
IONITY’s 350kW high-power-charging network would allow driving range of 100 kilometers or longer distance with a 3 minute charge. An electric vehicle to support the network would need a high-voltage charging system such as Hyundai Motor Group’s 800-volt battery system.
The 350 kW high-power-charging network for electric vehicles would also allow, for example, Hyundai Motor’s Kona Electric to reduce time for an 80 percent battery charge from 54 minutes to 5 minutes.
Taking the latest strategic investment as opportunity, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors plan to accelerate development of high-performance electric cars and electric vehicles with special specifications as well as those with enhanced efficiency.
IONITY, meanwhile, was founded under core mission to establish better charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, and Ford back the joint venture with an aim to establish high-power-charging network across Europe. IONITY has been enhancing its presence as Europe’s leading high-speed charging network, establishing nearly 140 electric car charging stations in highways across Europe.
By Moon Ji-woong and Lee Eun-joo
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