South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reports that Hyundai Motor is forming an alliance with LG Chem, SK Energy and SB LiMotive to develop battery packs for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).
The pact outlines the competitive development of a new battery pack by the three companies, with Hyundai Motor pledging to buy as many as possible for use in their future PHEV cars. The company said it wants to roll these cars off its assembly line around 2013.
The Ministry of Knowledge Economy and Korea Automotive Technology Institute will support and guarantee the agreement by the four companies. “Because battery quality will be the deciding factor of these vehicles, the company or country that makes the best will dominate this market,” Yonhap News quoted a ministry official as saying.
The Chosun Ilbo reported that the S. Korean government will provide 40 billion won (US$37.3 million) in total for the project—KRW 8 billion each year for five years from the second half of this year on the project, while the companies will invest more than W1 trillion (US$934 million).
An agreement reportedly will be signed on Monday.