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Hyundai Motor opens battery research center with SNU

S. Korean automaker to invest over W30b to support research activities through 2030

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : July 25, 2023 - 17:22

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Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Chung Euisun (second from left) listens to a student's introduction of the joint battery research center between the automaker and Seoul National University on Tuesday. (Hyundai Motor Group) Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Chung Euisun (second from left) listens to a student's introduction of the joint battery research center between the automaker and Seoul National University on Tuesday. (Hyundai Motor Group)

A joint battery research center between Hyundai Motor Group and Seoul National University officially opened Tuesday, signifying the South Korean automaker’s willingness to secure future-leading technologies in the global electric vehicle industry.

“Our mission to develop a diverse range of mobility solutions equipped with advanced batteries is driven by our strong commitment to a sustainable environment for future generations,” said Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Chung Euisun.

"Through pioneering joint research and development efforts, we hope to empower all researchers to lead the way in propelling the transition to electrification of the mobility industry.”

Hyundai Motor Group pledged to invest over 30 billion won ($23 million) to support various battery-related research activities through 2030. The center is the result of a memorandum of understanding signed in November 2021 between the automaker and the university.

The center has three floors covering 901 square meters and consists of seven laboratories for different research and development purposes. According to Hyundai Motor, it is SNU’s first research center solely dedicated to battery R&D.

The research facility will focus on developing battery technologies that can dramatically increase the driving distance of EVs, cut down EV charging times and monitor the state of batteries.

Hyundai Motor and SNU will cooperate to conduct 22 research projects in four areas -- battery management system, solid-state battery, lithium metal battery and battery-processing technology. Of the 22 projects, 14 are related to lithium metal and solid-state batteries.

Researchers at Hyundai Motor Company and its sister firm Kia will be dispatched to the research center for joint projects. Professors and students from SNU and other universities such as the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology and Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology will also join the research teams.

“The joint battery research center will be the starting point for battery technology with improved performance and robust safety in line with Hyundai Motor Group’s preemptive innovation in the field of electrification,” said SNU President Ryu Hong-lim.

“We expect that the best faculty members and graduate students will create synergy with Hyundai Motor Group’s competent researchers, laying the groundwork for various innovations ranging from the basics of batteries to applications,” Ryu added.