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LG Chem to Supply Li-Ion Batteries for Hyundai Hybrids

Korea Times. Korea-based LG Chem has won an order to exclusively supply lithium-ion polymer batteries to Korea-based Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors. The Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group plans to begin mass-production of hybrids in 2009.

“The order proves our technological competitiveness in rechargeable batteries for cars,” LG Chem Vice Chairman Kim Ban-seok said.

LG Chem is also one of the suppliers of Li-ion cells to GM for its development of the Volt extended range electric vehicle (EREV). (Earlier post.)



Yet another contender in the HEV, PHEV contest. With LG being a prime contractor for the Chevy Volt - I suspect that the Hyundai entry will also be a plug-in. The more the merrier. Now it's a battle for who gets to come to market first - thereby securing a very large market share.

Presumably the polymer will be used for non-standard form factors allowing Hyundai to put their batteries in non-conforming areas of chassis.


I wouldn't get too excited about the possibility of lithium hybrids from Hyundai just yet. John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America's vice president for product development, is on record claiming that Hyundai will probably not make a big hybrid push into America until 2013. That's 3 years after the Volt is to be launched.

Is this because Hyundai doesn't believe in the technology, or because it doesn't believe the technology will be cost effective until then?

While the hype around PHEVs continues to grow, the reality of their cost-effectiveness is still in question. Since both Hyundai and GM are receiving their batteries from the same source, this difference in launch dates is very interesting.

Are the first several years of PHEVs more about posturing until costs come down?


"The Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group plans to begin mass-production of hybrids in 2009."

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