Major car companies like Hyundai have toyed with both hydrogen and electricity for clean fuel sources, but now it seems the Seoul, South Korea-based manufacturer may be taking a major step towards improving technology for their electric cars with solid-state batteries. An April 5 report from The Korea Herald says the car company has pilot-scale battery production facilities in which they’re developing the battery technology that could store more energy and be a game changer for the industry.
Hyundai may be working on solid-state batteries in their facilities they own, according to information obtained by The Korea Herald from who they described as sources close to the matter. They quoted this source as saying, “Hyundai is developing solid-state batteries through its Namyang R&D Center’s battery precedence development team and it has secured a certain level of technology.”
Hyundai is apparently developing the technology without help from Korean battery manufacturers like LG Chem or Samsung SDI. The source compared Hyundai’s approach to Toyota’s – they also own production facilities according to the source. Industry sources told The Korea Herald Hyundai might be able to mass produce solid-state batteries around 2025.
LG Economic Research Institute analyst Choi Jung-deok told The Korea Herald “…if automakers are able to succeed the mass production of next-generation batteries, the paradigm of batteries in the future may be shifted.”
As solid-state batteries carry less risk of explosion they are considered safer than conventional batteries. According to Electrek, no company has yet been able to produce solid-state batteries at a large scale and at a price competitive with lithium-ion batteries. Along with Toyota, Ford has dabbled in the technology as well.
Companies like Bosch and Dyson have also invested in the technology; the latter acquired a solid-state battery startup in 2015 for $90 million with plans to construct a $1 billion factory.