While electric mobility has gathered a lot of pace over the recent past, it is still quite at a nascent stage when it comes to the accessibility of EV technology. Over the course of time, many automobile giants have ventured into the EV segment with a vision towards the future where electric mobility solutions hold the key.
With demand for EVs growing, Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors Corporation, and LG Chem are jointly sponsoring the “EV & Battery Challenge” (EVBC), a global competition to identify up to 10 EV and battery start-ups for potential investment and collaboration.
Details of the joint project
New Energy Nexus, the international start-up support organization, will manage and facilitate the competition. With the automobile industry’s increased focus on the development of more eco-friendly vehicles, specifically EVs, the demand for high-performance, high-efficiency batteries is greater than ever before. Hyundai and Kia have gained prominence in the global market with a comprehensive portfolio of EVs. Hyundai Motor Group is planning to deploy 44 eco-friendly models by the year 2025, including 23 EVs.
Development of Proof-Of-Concept projects
The chosen start-ups will have the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with Hyundai, Kia, and LG Chem, to develop proof-of-concept projects while leveraging the sponsors’ technical expertise, resources and laboratories. The global competition offers start-ups the opportunity to showcase their respective innovative technologies and unique business models. Through the EVBC, the three sponsors aim to identify and secure core technology capabilities that will bring more value to their customers.
Who Can Participate?
Start-ups that have working prototypes and are building technologies in EV charging and fleet management, power electronics and components, personalization services and battery management, systems, materials, recycling and manufacturing are strongly encouraged to participate. They can apply through www.evbatterychallenge.com from June 22 to August 28.
On the development of this project, Youngcho Chi, President and Chief Innovation Officer of Hyundai Motor Group said, “We are widening our collaboration with start-ups that have promising and innovative ideas. We look forward to working with various start-ups that will lead the global EV market and next-generation battery innovation through a joint program with LG Chem, which has world-class battery technology.”
Applicants that pass the first review on business feasibility and technology will go through virtual interviews in October. Then, the finalists will attend a two-day workshop in November at the Hyundai CRADLE Silicon Valley office, the hub for Hyundai Motor Group’s open innovation in the U.S. There, Hyundai, Kia, and LG Chem will be verifying the innovative technologies of the applicants.
LG Chem, it seems, has been doing this for quite some time and had held a similar contest last year as well. The battery maker is keenly looking at new talent and ideas in this sector. Myung-Hwan Kim, chief production & procurement officer as well as the head of the battery research center at LG Chem’s Energy Solution Company said that depending on the potential, he is looking to foster relations with these start-ups with Hyundai and Kia.