Rumor: Hyundai And SK Talk About Battery JV In US

Hyundai Motor Group announced in October that will it build in Georgia a large manufacturing site, called Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America (HMGMA), which is expected to include also an EV battery manufacturing facility.

The partner for the battery joint venture has not been announced yet, but according to an unofficial report from The Korea Economic Daily Global Edition, Hyundai is in talks with SK Innovation’s SK On. Another candidate interested in the deal reportedly is LG Energy Solution.

Two South Korean companies joining forces would not surprise us, especially because they are already working together on various projects. SK On also already has two battery plants in Commerce, Georgia (9.8 and 11.7 GWh per year) and clearly is in an expansion mode.

According to the article, undisclosed sources indicate that on the table is an investment of 2.5 trillion won ($1.9 billion), which would potentially result in a battery gigafactory with an output of roughly 20 GWh/year (pouch cells, nickel-rich NCM chemistry).

A memorandum of understanding between Hyundai and SK On might be announced later this month (on November 28), according to the report.

20 GWh per year for a plant, which is expected to produce 300,000 electric cars annually, would mean 67 kWh per car on average. We consider it kind of low (especially if the plant would be used for larger EVs, like SUVs), but maybe it’s an initial target.

The output would have to be higher also if SK On would like to supply batteries for other Hyundai Motor Groups plants in the US (another one in Georgia and one in Alabama).

Anyway, it’s an interesting rumor that indicates ongoing preparations by South Korean companies to improve their market position in the US, by the way of the general transition to electric cars.

Let’s wait those few days to see whether an official announcement will confirm the battery partner for the Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America plant in Georgia.

Source: The Korea Economic Daily Global Edition

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