[Photo by Yonhap]
The common challenges on the home and external front have brought leaders of South Korea’s two most valuable companies together, raising expectations for collaboration in the smart mobility from the best of Korean technology and vehicle names.
Samsung Electronics vice chairman Jay Y. Lee and Hyundai Motor Group executive vice chairman Chung Eui-sun, the heirs of the nation’s top business groups, met at Samsung SDI Co.’s factory in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province, on Wednesday to discuss all-solid-state battery development and technology. They also had a tour to the manufacturing facility of Samsung SDI, Samsung’s battery making subsidiary.
Shares of Samsung SDI closed Wednesday 9 percent higher at 309,500 won ($253) on expectations of battery order from the country’s largest automaker. Hyundai EVs are mostly powered by LG Chem batteries and Kia cars by SK Innovation products.
Samsung Electronics recently unveiled a technology for a new all-solid-state battery that can run up to 800 kilometers on a single charge. Compared to widely used lithium-ion batteries that use liquid electrolytes, Samsung’s all-solid-state batteries utilize solid electrolytes to enhance capacity and safety.
It was for the first time for the two leaders to hold a one-on-one business meeting. It also marked the first visit of Chung to a Samsung company. Albert Biermann, president and head of R&D division at Hyundai Motor Group, and Seo Bo-shin, Hyundai Motor president, accompanied the scions along with Samsung SDI CEO Jun Young-hyun and Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology president Hwang Sung-woo.
The rare meeting of the two heads of the country’s leading business groups came amid the government’s strong push for development of electric vehicles as the country’s future growth driver. President Moon Jae-in pledged Monday in a special televised address marking the third year of his administration that the government will promote system semiconductors, bio health and future cars as the country’s three major growth engines.
The Korea’s top automaker Hyundai Motor and its sibling Kia Motors plan to roll out 44 green car models by 2025 of which 23 will be in EVs. Hyundai Motor announced at the end of last year that it aimed to achieve 560,000 units in EV sales and 110,000 units in hydrogen EV cars by 2025.
SK Innovation won a 10 trillion won order to supply batteries for 500,000 EVs for Hyundai and Kia over the next five years. The two carmakers will make additional orders.
According to EV industry tracker EV Sales, Hyundai and Kia ranked fourth in the global EV market with sales of 24,116 units in the first quarter this year. Tesla topped the rank with 88,400 units, followed by Renault Nissan Alliance 39,355 units and Volks Wagen Group 33,846 units.
By Lee Jong-hyuk and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]