Kia and Hyundai launch global competition to invest in EV and battery start-ups

Kia and Hyundai have announced the start of a global competition to find 10 electric vehicle and battery start-ups for potential investment.

Collaborating with LG Chem, the ‘EV & Battery Challenge’ is being managed by international start-up support organisation New Energy Nexus to find the next generation of EV and battery creators.

The chosen companies will be given the opportunity to work with Kia, Hyundai and LG Chem to develop proof-of-concept projects, giving the entrants the chance to utilise the sponsors’ technical expertise and resources.

Through the competition, the three sponsors will be looking to identify and secure key technology capabilities which can bring value to their respective customers.

Myung-Hwan Kim, chief production & procurement officer and head of the battery research center at LG Chem’s Energy Solution Company, said: “LG Chem is continuously striving to lead in battery technology development based on an open innovation approach.

“We will foster potential start-ups in partnership with Hyundai and Kia, and strengthen our capabilities in the EV sector.”

Applications are open from June 22 and will be running right the way until August 28.

Start-ups with working prototypes and who are developing technologies in EV charging and fleet management, power electronics and components – among other areas – are being ‘strongly encouraged’ to participate. After an initial review, applicants will go on to do virtual interviews in October.

Finalists will then be invited to attend a two-day workshop at Hyundai’s Silicon Valley office which is where the three sponsors will verify the technologies and proposed ideas of the applicants.

Youngcho Chi, president and chief innovation officer of Hyundai Motor Group, said: “We are widening our collaboration with start-ups that have promising and innovative ideas. 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.”

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