Samsung and Hyundai leaders meet for collaboration in electric cars

The two conglomerates are hoping for a comprehensive collaboration in electric vehicles and mobility.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer

The top bosses of Samsung and Hyundai have met to discuss a potential collaboration in electric cars, the companies have confirmed.

Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong and Hyundai Motor Group executive vice chairman Chung Eui-sun met at Samsung SDI's battery plant in the city of Cheonan, south of the capital Seoul, with their respective senior executives.

The battery plant specialises in producing small-sized batteries for consumer devices as well as those for electric cars.

The two parties discussed next-generation battery technologies and shared their respective research and development statuses in the area, a Hyundai Motor Group spokesman said.

A Samsung spokesman said the conglomerate's all-solid-state batteries were structurally sturdy and stable, adding that the company hopes for expanded collaboration between the two business groups in the mobility sector.

It is the first time Lee and Chung, the top bosses of their respective business groups, have met to discuss business collaboration.

Samsung SDI currently doesn't supply car batteries to Hyundai with the latter currently obtaining the majority of its supplies from LG Chem and SK Innovation.

Samsung declined to comment on whether talks were underway for a potential battery supply deal.

Back in March, Samsung said it had developed a high-performance, all-solid-state battery that it said allows electric cars to travel 800 kilometres on a single charge and handle over 1,000 charges.

Lithium-ion batteries, which use liquid electrolytes, are currently widely in use but switching to a solid material could increase energy density and safety to improve the performance of electric cars, Samsung said.

Back in 2015, the South Korean tech giant formed an automotive solution group that focused on selling components for cars. It also acquired US auto-component and audio supplier Harman for $8 billion to further strengthen its automotive business.

Besides batteries, Samsung offers digital cockpits, infotainment systems, displays, memory, and sensors for use in cars.

Hyundai has previously said it has plans to launch 44 new eco-friendly car models by 2025, with 23 of them being purely electric vehicles.

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