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Sport trucks, supercars go electric: InterBattery shows EV era draws near

A Ferrary SF90 Spider built on a plug-in hybrid architecture is displayed at SK On‘s exhibition at InterBattery. (SK Innovation)
A Ferrary SF90 Spider built on a plug-in hybrid architecture is displayed at SK On‘s exhibition at InterBattery. (SK Innovation)
The 10th annual secondary battery event InterBattery gave visitors a glimpse of how close the world is to the era where electric vehicles go mainstream.

Cars showcased in the three-day event at Coex in Seoul beginning Thursday indicated room for wider applications of batteries, even to the degree of reincarnating the gas-guzzling cars that were once declared dead, and of having exotic cars and luxury cars keep their performance afloat while run on electric batteries.

US carmaker General Motor’s GMC Hummer 2022, an electric sport utility truck first unveiled in October 2020, took center stage in the 540 square-meter exhibition space run by LG Energy Solution, a battery arm of Korea‘s fourth-largest conglomerate LG.

GMC Hummer -- which comes in pickup trucks and sport utility vehicle versions -- is expected to become one of GM’s first all-electric full-size vehicle along with Cadillac Lyriq.

According to the carmaker, a GMC Hummer pickup flaunts a 1,000 horsepower performance and is capable of running 300 miles on a single charge with the Ultium battery-pack technology, built by a joint venture of GM and LG Energy Solution in the United States.

In addition to GMC Hummer, InterBattery also showcased Ferrari SF90 Spider, Mercedes-Benz EQA and BMW i4, proving they could go partly or fully electric.
Models pose for a photo in front of GMC Hummer pickup displayed at LG Energy Solution’s exhibition at InterBattery. (LG Energy Solution)
Models pose for a photo in front of GMC Hummer pickup displayed at LG Energy Solution’s exhibition at InterBattery. (LG Energy Solution)
SK On‘s exhibition featured a Ferrari SF90 Spider supercar that is built on a plug-in hybrid architecture combined with the Korean firm’s 7.9 kW battery pack, as well as Ferrari‘s performance zone that demonstrates the supercar maker’s electric roadmap. The battery arm of Korea‘s third-largest conglomerate also revealed the latest Mercedes-Benz EQA run on SK On’s battery.

Meanwhile, BMW i4, a gran coupe by the German carmaker, had an all-electric facelift in its first public appearance in Korea at the Samsung SDI exhibition area. The new sedan, which comes two years after the gas-powered BMW i4, operates on a Gen. 5 battery pack under Samsung SDI‘s signature PRiMX brand unveiled in late 2021.

LG Energy Solution, Samsung SDI and SK On are considered the three major battery powerhouses in South Korea. They were among some 250 InterBattery exhibitors from across the battery supply chain.

The three companies, in the meantime, showcased a range of next-generational battery technologies.

LG Energy Solution was presenting lightweight lithium-sulfur batteries, polymer-based and sulfide-based electrolytes for solid-state batteries, as well as batteries made up of nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum.

InterBattery exhibitions also featured SK On’s artificial intelligence-powered battery-as-a-service business model that allows users to monitor battery safety, as well as a technique designed to keep a battery fireproof. Samsung SDI‘s exhibitions displayed various use cases of batteries ranging from cars to energy storage system and robots.

InterBattery is hosted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

By Son Ji-hyoung (consnow@heraldcorp.com)
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