Hyundai, Kia and LG Chem launch EV and battery challenge for startups

With demand for electric vehicles is growing, Hyundai, Kia, and LG Chem are jointly sponsoring the ‘EV & Battery Challenge‘ (EVBC), a global competition to identify up to ten EV and battery startups for potential investment and collaboration. New Energy Nexus, the international startup support organisation, will manage and facilitate the competition.

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The challenge comes after demand for high-performance, high-efficiency batteries are at a record high. Manufacturers from around the globe are looking into new battery technologies, while consumers are seeking more efficient and longer-lasting vehicles than ever before.

As such, it’s no surprise to learn that a lot of automakers, Hyundai included, are ramping up production for eco-friendly vehicles – the South Korean manufacturer wants to have 44 eco-centric models, in which 23 are EVs, in its portfolio by 2025.

EV & Battery Challenge
Last year’s winners of the EVBC

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As part of the challenge, startups that excel in the EVBC will have the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with Hyundai, Kia, and LG Chem to develop and manufacture new battery technologies. In return, the automakers will look to use them in upcoming vehicles.

Startups 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 have been encouraged to participate in the challenge.

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.

“We are widening our collaboration with startups that have promising and innovative ideas. We look forward to working with various startups 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,” said Youngcho Chi, President and Chief Innovation Officer of Hyundai Motor Group.

Hyundai Ioniq EV & Battery Challenge

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“LG Chem is continuously striving to lead in battery technology development based on an open innovation approach,” said Myung-Hwan Kim, Chief Production & Procurement Officer and Head of the battery research centre at LG Chem’s Energy Solution Company. “We will foster potential startups in partnership with Hyundai and Kia, and strengthen our capabilities in the EV sector.”

“Both LG Chem and Hyundai Motor and Kia are leading the charge for better batteries and better mobility systems. Their joint effort to accelerate startups through the EV and Battery Challenge shows they are in it for the long game. We are proud to be working with such forward-thinking companies that are enabling a faster and cleaner energy transition,” says Danny Kennedy, Chief Energy Officer of New Energy Nexus.

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Last year, LG Chem hosted “The Battery Challenge” to discover innovative technologies in the battery business, and this year, it has partnered with Hyundai and Kia to create more synergy in the EV sector.


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