With demand for EVs growing, Kia Motors Corporation, Hyundai Motor Company, and LG Chem are jointly sponsoring the “EV & Battery Challenge” (EVBC), a global competition to identify up to 10 EV and battery start-ups for potential investment and collaboration. New Energy Nexus, the international start-up support organisation, will manage and facilitate the competition.
With the automobile industry’s increased focus on development of more eco-friendly vehicles, specifically EVs, the demand for high-performance, high-efficiency batteries is greater than ever before. Kia and Hyundai have gained prominence in the global market with a comprehensive portfolio of EVs. Hyundai Motor Group is planning to deploy 44 eco-friendly models by the year 2025, including 23 EVs.
The chosen start-ups will have the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with Kia, Hyundai, 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, personalisation services and battery management, systems, materials, recycling and manufacturing are strongly encouraged to participate. They can apply through www.evbatterychallenge.com from 22 June to 28 August.
Applicants that pass the first review on business feasibility and technology will go through virtual interviews in October. Then, the finalists will attend a two-day workshop in November at the Hyundai CRADLE Silicon Valley office, the hub for Hyundai Motor Group’s open innovation in the U.S. There, Kia, Hyundai, and LG Chem will be verifying the innovative technologies of the applicants.
“We are widening our collaboration with start-ups that have promising and innovative ideas. 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,” said Youngcho Chi, President and Chief Innovation Officer of Hyundai Motor Group.
“LG Chem is continuously striving to lead in battery technology development based on an open innovation approach,” said Myung-Hwan Kim, Chief Production & Procurement Officer and Head of the Battery Research Center at LG Chem’s Energy Solution Company. “We will foster potential start-ups in partnership with Hyundai and Kia, and strengthen our capabilities in the EV sector.”
“Both LG Chem and Hyundai Motor and Kia are leading the charge for better batteries and better mobility systems. Their joint effort to accelerate startups through the EV and Battery Challenge shows they are in it for the long game. We are proud to be working with such forward-thinking companies that are enabling a faster and cleaner energy transition,” says Danny Kennedy, Chief Energy Officer of New Energy Nexus.
Last year, LG Chem hosted “The Battery Challenge” to discover innovative technologies in the battery business, and this year, it has partnered with Kia and Hyundai to create more synergy in the EV sector.