Kia, Hyundai, And LG Chem Launch Global EV Technology Competition

Kia, Hyundai, and LG Chem have teamed up to launch the EV & Battery Challenge, a competition to find startups working on battery and electric vehicle technology.

·The startups will have the opportunity to receive invest from and collaborate with the three companies.

·The competition follows LG Chem’s Battery Challenge last year, which selected five winners out of 129 applicants.

Automakers across the globe are racing to develop the most advanced technologies in electric vehicles as the EV segment becomes more and more crowded. Kia, Hyundai, and LG Chem announced today that they are teaming up to launch a competition, dubbed the EV & Battery Challenge, to identify up to 10 startups creating electric-vehicle and battery technologies for possible investment and collaboration.

The organizers are looking for startups working on various aspects of batteries, such as battery construction and management, as well as electric vehicles more generally, including charging, business models, and components. The competition is run by New Energy Nexus, following on LG Chem’s 2019 Battery Challenge, which received 129 applicants; the five winners received up to $2 million in funding.

“We are widening our collaboration with startups that have promising and innovative ideas,” Youngcho Chi, president and chief innovation officer of Hyundai, said in a statement. “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.”

Late last month, Hyundai and Kia announced that LG Chem would be one of the battery suppliers for their upcoming electric vehicles. Together, alongside luxury brand subsidiary Genesis, the automakers announced last year that they intend to launch 16 EVs by 2025 and to have global EV sales around 560,000 by then.

Earlier this month, CATL, a China-based battery manufacturer, announced that it has a million-mile battery pack—a claim of the life span of a battery—ready for anyone who places an order. Back in early March, GM revealed that they have a low-cobalt battery, one of the mostly costly components of EV batteries, on the way for its future lineup of electric vehicles.

The deadline to apply for the competition is August 28, and the winners will be announced later this fall.