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SK likely to secure status as key Hyundai E-GMP supplier

Hyundai Motor's EV models / Courtesy of Hyundai Motor
Hyundai Motor's EV models / Courtesy of Hyundai Motor

By Kim Bo-eun

SK Innovation will likely secure the status of a dominant supplier for Hyundai's E-GMP electric vehicle platform, as it is included on the list of vendors for a third batch of supplies.

The company supplied the first batch of batteries for the platform, while LG Energy Solution provided the second, along with China's CATL.

Hyundai is in the process of selecting battery makers to supply the third batch. SK, LG, CATL and Samsung SDI are known to have taken part in the bidding that began in September last year.

The carmaker is seeking to secure multiple suppliers this time around. "We are seeking to increase the number of suppliers as a means to diversify sources," a Hyundai Motor official said Monday.

Increasing the number of suppliers appears necessary given the scale of the supply this time. For the first batch, 10 trillion won's worth of batteries were supplied, in the second 16 trillion won's worth and in the third about 20 trillion won's worth of batteries are projected to be supplied.

"Having a single vendor entails risks when shortage issues occur. It would make sense to go with a multi-vendor system," an industry official said.

Hyundai is projected to reach a decision on vendors for the third batch as early as next week. SK is known to have been included among the suppliers.

"Hyundai may have preferred SK's batteries given they do not have any track record of catching fire. Months have passed since EV battery fires made headlines, but the cause of them has not been clarified," the industry official said. Views are that LG's batteries may be less favored given its fire safety issues.

Samsung SDI was once considered the most likely candidate to supply for the third batch.

But given Samsung makes prismatic batteries, Hyundai may favor other competitors as the carmaker is known to be seeking pouch cells. Analysts say it is possible that Samsung will supply some batteries.

The third batch of supplies is set to be loaded on Hyundai's Ioniq 7 model, which is an SUV set to be launched in 2023 targeting the North American market.

The first batch of batteries supplied by SK power the Ioniq 5 model, which is set to be released in the first half of the year. SK is also supplying batteries for Kia models.


Kim Bo-eun bkim@koreatimes.co.kr


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