By on June 23, 2020

2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), Plug-In Outlet

Hyundai and its sister automaker, Kia Motors, want to hear from you. Well, maybe not you, but someone with electrification expertise and a startup in tow.

As the automakers prepare a series of upcoming electric models, the automakers, joined by their battery supplier, have issued a challenge.

Called the EV & Battery Challenge, the competition, managed by New Energy Nexus, will seek out potential partners for the Hyundai Motor Group divisions. Major automakers have, over the past several years, sought out (and then bought out) the know-how of up-and-coming industry players to offset costly development work and pare down product timelines.

Hyundai wants to identify 10 startups for potential funding and collaboration.

From the automaker:

The chosen start-ups will have the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with Hyundai, Kia, and LG Chem, to develop proof-of-concept projects while leveraging the sponsors’ technical expertise, resources and laboratories. The global competition offers start-ups the opportunity to showcase their respective innovative technologies and unique business models. Through the EVBC, the three sponsors aim to identify and secure core technology capabilities that will bring more value to their customers.

Start-ups that have working prototypes and are building technologies in EV charging and fleet management, power electronics and components, personalization services and battery management, systems, materials, recycling and manufacturing are strongly encouraged to participate.

Interested parties can join the challenge from June 22nd to August 28th, with interviews occurring in October and finalists sent to Hyundai’s Silicon Valley tech hub in November for a two-day workshop. Despite having penned a proposal for a theoretical urine-powered car in university, yours truly will not be among them.

“We are widening our collaboration with start-ups that have promising and innovative ideas,” said Youngcho Chi, President and Chief Innovation Officer of Hyundai Motor Group, in a statement. “We look forward to working with various start-ups that will lead the global EV market and next-generation battery innovation through a joint program with LG Chem, which has world-class battery technology.”

Hyundai aims to have 44 “eco-friendly” models on the market by 2025, with 23 of them being pure electric vehicles. Earlier this year, Hyundai and Kia tapped battery maker LG Chem to help fuel those future models.

The challenge announced this week is modeled after a similar quest by LG Chem to bring innovation to its own business last year.

[Images: Hyundai]

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7 Comments on “Bullish on EVs, Hyundai Issues a Challenge...”

  • avatar

    It sounds like Elon Musk is going to get richer selling batteries to other automakers.

    • 0 avatar

      @lorenzo: Tesla is getting into the cell manufacturing business. I think some of the equipment has already been delivered and they bought up a company with battery manufacturing expertise.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Before these mythical partners hold hands with H/K, they’ll want to know how serious H/K is about gaining EV market share. Selling a few compliance cars (one of which I drive) won’t excite new partners.

    • 0 avatar

      @SCE: At least one lab they’ve partnered/invested in is real. I actually know them. Their technology, semi-solid is good, but the last time I checked I wasn’t impressed by the gravimetric density. That may have improved. The interesting part about this lab’s technology is that I think their manufacturing technology should be low cost and much quicker that current technologies.

      • 0 avatar

        Actually, Hyundai invested in a different lab than I thought. I got them confused. Anyway, here is a link to the announcement for the investment:

        I need better batteries for robotics, so I’ve been following battery technology closely.

        By the way, there has been a lot of work in improving motors as well. There isn’t much attention paid to them now, but they will become much more important very soon.

  • avatar

    Now is certainly not the time to be in pure EVs but rolling out in 2025 I’d say is 50/50 chance of great success. Hyundai should probably prepare itself for a USDM of fewer sales than today by 2025 due to economic, emissions, and totalitarian agency regulations.

  • avatar

    We don’t want to do research and development. Can we just buy yours and offload the risk onto your investors? Kthxbye.

    It’s hard to know what to make of Hyundai/Kia and EVs. On the one hand, for the $, the Kia Niro EV is the best mass-market EV out there — truly excellent. On the other hand, it isn’t actually available in the mass market, just in the handful of states that essentially mandate EVs be offered. And some of what makes it good, like the heat pump and battery heater, are only included if it happens to be going to a cold-weather state.

    New slogan for the chaebol: “Nobody full-asses half-assing it like Hyundai/Kia.”

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