South Korean car giant Hyundai is making inroads into the global power storage market under a second-life electric vehicle (EV) batteries deal with Finnish energy tech firm Wärtsilä.
The companies said their “technology and commercial partnership” would target “advanced energy storage products and platforms that maximise Hyundai’s second-life EV batteries”— selling into Wärtsilä’s existing network of customers across 180 countries.
The announcement of a fresh Korean batteries push beyond Asian shores came as Hyundai confirmed it was developing a one megawatt-hour energy storage system. The ESS work is taking place at Hyundai’s steel-making facility in South Korea, utilising the SK Innovation-supplied lithium-ion polymer batteries from the car firm’s ‘Ioniq Electric’ and ‘Kia Soul’ EV models.
Hyundai Motor Group’s chief innovation officer Dr Youngcho Chi (centre) said “energy storage is the logical next step in the after-market use of EV batteries”.
“By repurposing resource-intensive products like EV batteries, we eliminate disposal costs and extend the value of the R&D investment that goes into manufacturing the technology,” Chi said.
Wärtsilä said its energy business currently includes 67 gigawatts of installed power plants, as well as advanced energy storage technologies and software through its US-based subsidiary Greensmith Energy.
The partners say they expect the battery storage market to increase from around 10 gigawatt hours at present to nearly 30 GWh in 2025— representing “a blue ocean” of business opportunities.
Hyundai was last year reported to be working on the pilot scale development of solid-state lithium batteries.
Photo caption: (from left) Javier Cavada, President of Energy Solutions at Wärtsilä, Dr. Youngcho Chi, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Technology Division and Chief Innovation Officer at Hyundai Motor Group, John Jung, President & CEO at Greensmith Energy