Hyundai reportedly invests $100 million in SolidEnergy Systems

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Hyundai reportedly invests $100 million in SolidEnergy Systems

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Hyundai Motor will invest in U.S.-based battery maker SolidEnergy Systems (SES) according to media reports Sunday, as part of its push to secure the technology to make its own electric vehicle (EV) battery.
 
Hyundai Motor has reportedly signed a 113.6 billion won ($100 million) share purchase agreement with SES, which specializes in manufacturing lithium-metal batteries. The battery company started off as an in-house start-up at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and spun off in 2012.
 
Hyundai Motor confirmed that they had been in discussions with SES, but refused to confirm the investment. 
 
“SES is one of the battery firms that we have come into contact with for future partnership,” said a Hyundai Motor spokesman on Monday. “Details about the investment haven’t been confirmed yet.”
 
Lithium-metal batteries, in which the anodes are composed of lithium-metal, are known to have higher energy density while being smaller and lighter compared to lithium-ion batteries, in which the anodes are usually made from graphite. 
 
The battery start-up formed a partnership with General Motors early this year to co-develop lithium-metal battery technology. The two companies plan to construct test production facilities in Boston by 2023 and commercialize the battery products by 2025.
 
In Korea, Hyundai Motor is not the first company showing interest in the battery making firm.  
 
SK Inc. in 2018 invested 30 billion won in the U.S. start-up, followed by another 40 billion won early this year, making the Korean company the third biggest shareholder of SES after Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek and SES founder and CEO Qichao Hu.
 
Hyundai Motor Group, which was the world’s fourth largest EV seller in 2020, revealed early this year that it plans to make its own EV batteries including lithium-ion batteries and solid state batteries. It said it aims to mass produce its own solid state batteries by 2027 and launch an EV model equipped with other own solid state batteries by 2030.
 

BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]
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