Kia Motors has been pretty busy in recent years, and although COVID-19 hit the auto industry hard, the automaker came back swinging. Alongside purpose-built vehicles, Kia Motors has also jumped into investments with Aurora Innovation, and started several joint ventures with EV startups, like CODE42.ai to revolutionize the way electric vehicles work today. Part of the Hyundai Motor Group, Kia Motors is always getting in on the ground floor of new ventures and benefits from the results, like the MoceanLab development, working on self-driving electric vehicle fleets as a new ride-hailing service. One problem automakers have faced since the dawn of electric vehicles (EVs) was the development and production of EV batteries and how they impact the ecosystem. The Hyundai Motor Group enters into a collaboration with SK Innovation Co. to design new forms of battery management service and battery reuse and recycling, as well as improve the image of EV batteries in the industry.
Battery supply and how they affect the environment once dead are growing issues that surround electric and battery-powered vehicles. In an aim to strengthen the battery supply chain while also working to change its impact, the Hyundai-SK cooperation aims to build a better use of resources from recycling to production. The two companies are seeking solutions that can maximize the value of EV batteries, while still making them eco-friendly, with efforts to reduce carbon emissions, improve on the design that connects EVs and battery reuse, and improving the overall look of battery-powered vehicles by maximizing the added value batteries and battery packs can have in the auto industry.
The focus of this collaboration will be the battery pack of Kia Motors’ Niro EV model. Both companies will be studying the initial process of collecting and verifying the resources that go into the battery pack. Then, they take a look at how these batteries can still be used when they no longer serve the function of operating an automobile. Batteries no longer able to power a vehicle can still be used in a variety of applications, including new forms of Energy Storage Systems (ESS) that is not only portable but reusable. If a battery is completely done for, battery recycling will extract the most important and economically valuable metals, such as lithium, nickel, and cobalt. These materials do more than go into the production of EV batteries.
“This collaboration between Hyundai Motor Group, which is leading the popularization of EVs in the global market, and SK Innovation, which possesses the advanced technology in battery development and recycling, is highly meaningful in that the two have joined forces to collaborate across the entire EV cycle…Both companies will create a seamless collaboration system to explore new business opportunities across the whole battery value chain.” – Dongseob Jee, President of SK Innovation’s Battery Business
The end-goal seems to not only improve and reduce the impact EV batteries have on the ecosystem, but if the Hyundai Motor Group and SK Innovation can change the way consumers view electric vehicles. This starts with improving how EV batteries are produced and eventually discarded. With the impact fossil fuels already has on the world, we don’t need another type of power source that just adds to the waste. SK Innovation Co is just one stop, too. Big names overseas like Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Wärtsilä, OCI, and Hanwha Solutions are also striving to open up a new market specializing in the use reuse of EV batteries.
We got one world, for now. If we’re going to move forward, we need to be smart about it. Follow developments like this and more when you follow us on Miami Lakes Kia social media.