South Korea, known for its technological prowess, is forging ahead in the electric vehicle (EV) industry. From strategic partnerships to making noteworthy investments, the Korean EV industry is bustling throughout the year. Also, with government support, the country is witnessing an electrifying wave of innovations and partnerships reshaping transportation’s future.
iI the heart of Asia’s tech hub, South Korea’s electric vehicle sector is undergoing a seismic shift. So join us on a journey through the top 5 EV deals and initiatives that are propelling South Korea into the vanguard of sustainable mobility.
- KG Mobility’s Torres EVX Marks a Milestone in Electric SUV Production
In July this year, KG Mobility Corp., formerly recognized as Ssangyong Motor, announced its eagerly anticipated all-electric sports utility vehicle (SUV), the “Torres EVX.” The vehicle, which was initially revealed to the public at the Seoul Mobility Show in March, became KG Mobility’s maiden electrified offering following its rebranding.
This EV endeavor was the company’s second endeavor into the battery-powered automobile market, following the successful introduction of the Korando Emotion in the domestic EV landscape in February 2022.
What distinguishes the Torres EVX is its utilization of a lithium iron phosphate battery system, promising a commendable driving range exceeding 420 kilometers on a single charge.
The initial EV model, the Korando Emotion, was exclusively for export markets due to constraints in battery supply, rendering the Torres EVX as KG Mobility’s inaugural electric vehicle tailored specifically for the domestic EV market.
- LS e-Mobility Solutions Strengthens EV Component Supply Chain with Hyundai-Kia Motors Deal
In August, LS Electric Co. sCo.’s subsidiary, LS e-Mobility Solutions, secured a supply contract valued at 250 billion won (approximately $187 million). The agreement centers on providing crucial EV relays for electric vehicles produced by Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Corp.
The contract terms outline the supply of EV relays tailored for electric vehicles, carrying an estimated worth of 250 billion won. These critical components are scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2025.
The pivotal role of EV relays lies in their function as safety components within the high-voltage systems of electric vehicles. These relays enable the controlled battery current flow to the inverter during standard operation. However, their significance becomes even more pronounced in adverse situations such as abnormal current levels or fire hazards, where the EV relay swiftly interrupts the current flow, safeguarding the vehicle’s high-voltage system.
- Hyundai Motor Group’s Strategic Investment in Korea Zinc Aims to Strengthen Electric Vehicle Battery Supply Chain
August witnessed another major EV deal as Hyundai Motor Group injected $398 million into Korea Zinc Inc., a global leader in lead and zinc smelting. This investment secures Hyundai Motor Group a 5% ownership stake in Korea Zinc, with a total investment of 527.2 billion won (equivalent to $397.74 million), as disclosed in an official statement.
The partnership extends its reach to various aspects, encompassing acquiring essential battery materials and joint efforts in recycling practices. Both entities have united to expand future business opportunities for the supply chain for electric vehicle batteries.
- LG Uplus and Kakao Mobility Join Forces to Power Up EV Charging Infrastructure
LG Uplus, the country’s third-largest mobile carrier, and Kakao Mobility, a tech behemoth Kakao Corp. subsidiary, forged an alliance to venture into the electric vehicle (EV) charging station business in July this year. The agreement saw both corporations commit to a joint investment of 25 billion won ($19 million) each, culminating in LG Uplus securing the managerial reins of this collaborative endeavor. With a controlling stake of 50% plus one share, LG Uplus took the lead, while Kakao Mobility retained the remaining shares.
This joint venture was designed to help both partners, with LG Uplus having a track record in nationwide infrastructure construction and operation, well-suited for developing an extensive EV charging network. Kakao Mobility, on the other hand, brought its expertise as a leading Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platform provider, perfectly complementing LG Uplus’ capabilities.
The joint goal was to conclude the formation process, including establishing the company’s identity, strategic direction, and workforce, by the year’s end, promising a significant stride in South Korea’s EV charging infrastructure.
- South Korean Industry Minister Commits to supporting the EV Industry During Hyundai Factory Visit
Early this week, the newly appointed Industry Minister Bang Moo-kyu visited Hyundai Motor Co.’s factory, where he pledged extended support for the Korean EV Industry. This initiative was launched by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) during the official ceremony to inaugurate an export site visitation team at Hyundai Motor’s Asan plant on September 26, 2023.
“The government will strengthen supportive measures to promote the EV sector as our new export growth engine,” Bang stated during his speech at the event.
In a nutshell,
South Korea’s electric vehicle landscape is rapidly evolving, driven by a series of visionary initiatives and transformative deals that have strengthened its position on the global stage.
From KG Mobility’s innovative electric SUV, the Torres EVX, heralding a new era in Korean electric SUV production, to LS e-Mobility Solutions fortifying the EV component supply chain with a Hyundai-Kia Motors partnership, the nation is surging forward in the green mobility revolution.
Lastly, Industry Minister Bang Moo-kyu’s dedication to supporting the EV industry is a noteworthy commitment towards a sustainable and electrified future. We must stay tuned as South Korea continues to drive the EV revolution forward.
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