Hyundai tips Ioniq models with a 500-mile range thanks to new Li-Metal battery investment
Electric car makers are scrambling to secure access to new and promising battery technologies, and Hyundai has placed its bets on extended-range Lithium-Metal batteries for its next Ioniq models.
Speaking during the ongoing Korea Advanced Battery Conference 2021, Hyundai's Head of Energy & Environmental Chemical Systems Research Kim Chang-hwan disclosed the company's future Ioniq plans:
We plan to launch the IONIQ 5, 6, 7 using E-GMP, a platform dedicated to electric vehicles, with a goal of 1 million units by 2025.
The performance of E-GMP depends 100% on the battery, and the lithium metal technology that can exceed the limit of the existing lithium ion battery is important.
Various players are making efforts to secure lithium metal battery technology, and they are actually developing in price, energy capacity, and safety. The SES technology has secured a level capable of charging and discharging more than 500 times.
According to its founder and CEO Dr. Qichao Hu, SES has a two-year head start in Li-Metal batteries development and production indeed, explaining Hyundai's recent $100 million investment there. Back in the summer, the CEO also hinted that SES is in advanced talks with Hyundai to build a Li-Metal battery factory next to its vehicle assembly plants.
The main promise of Li-Metal batteries is that their higher energy density would allow for a much longer drive on a single charge than the conventional Li-Ion batteries in electric cars. Tesla teased Li-Metal battery research last year but at the time mentioned a lifetime of just 200 discharge cycles, whereas SES is now able to offer 70% performance retention after 779 cycles and 90% retention in 550 cycles.
That is still less than the 1000 or so cycles that the best electric car batteries are now able to pull off, yet for Hyundai's head of battery research the tradeoff is worth it because of the much longer range on a charge: "Even if the lithium metal battery is charged and discharged 500 to 700 times, if the energy density is high, a performance of driving 700 to 800 kilometers with a single charge can be secured."
Moreover, SES expects big Li-Metal battery breakthroughs to happen in the next few years regarding their safety and fast-charging abilities, and Hyundai will be very well positioned to take advantage of those by the time its millionth Ioniq model rolls off the conveyor belt.
The Elec (translated)