Hyundai Exec – Battery Breakthrough Could Drive EV Market Share To 90% By 2025

JUL 24 2017 BY MARK KANE 54

We have to say, the Hyundai Motor Group currently behaves more than a little conservatively when it comes to adopting new alternative fuel technologies than its automotive peers.

Instead of choosing one winner, it rather invests (somewhat timidly) in a broad portfolio of strategies, from hybrids, through plug-in hybrids, all-electric and yes, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.  All the while never really getting behind any one horse.

According to Lee Ki-sang, who is a senior vice president for Hyundai Motor Group, if there will be a breakthrough in battery technology, we will see 90% of the market for EVs in 2025.

Hyundai Futuristic FE Fuel Cell Concept

In Hyundai’s opinion, conventional lithium-ion batteries (with liquid electrolytes) apparently are slowly exhausting their capabilities for energy density increases.

One of the most promising next generation technology according to the company is solid-state batteries (or maybe perhaps lithium-sulfur, or lithium-air cells at some point in longer term).

The only problem is, of course, that there is no certainty that those batteries will appear in a commercially viable format.

Automotive News reports on the Hyundai exec’s thoughts on the future:

Lee Ki-sang, expects a technological shakeout between 2020 and 2025 that will make it clearer whether a post-lithium ion battery breakthrough is on the horizon.

“”If a really new, next-generation battery appears, like magic, around 2025, then the market share of electric vehicles will go from 20 to 30 percent to 80 to 90 percent of the whole market,” Lee said in an interview here at the South Korean manufacturer’s fuel cell development lab.”

“Today’s lithium ion batteries will have run their limit by around 2022 or 2023, he said. Battery makers are already targeting 2025 for next-generation replacements.”


In the case of no successor technology being found, then fuel cells investment will not be stopped at Hyundai.

Over the next 3 years, Hyundai group will be launching 10 hybrids, 8 PHEVs, 8 all-electric vehicles and two fuel-cell vehicles in its catch-all plan.

“”Everybody is announcing, “We are developing it.’ But to prepare a production line and to validate and to apply it to the vehicle, it will take some more time.””

“I can see some meaningful signal around 2020; that’s my hope,” Lee said to Auto News. “Based on that meaningful signal, we have to modify our future plan. It can be a kind of turning point.””

However, for our money, the technology really does not have to increase much further past where we are today, at least when it comes to the technology and battery densities of today…as no one is asking for denser cells, but rather just cheaper ones.

Basically, moving to an unknown/next generation technology only to save a few cubic feet under the floorboard, or a couple hundred pounds of weight for every ~100 kWh worth of batteries really seems inconsequential to the pricing of those packs at this point in time, at least when it comes to mass adoption.

Korea Herald revealed recently that Hyundai is developing solid-state batteries also on its own, already establishing pilot-scale production facilities.

““Hyundai is developing solid-state batteries through its Namyang R&D Center’s battery precedence development team and it has secured a certain level of technology,”

It certainly would however be interesting if Hyundai could perfect solid-state technology, lost the fuel cells and hybrids, and ultimately become a competitor to Samsung SDI or LG Chem.

source: Automotive News, Green Car Congress, Korea Herald

Categories: Battery Tech, Hyundai


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54 Comments on "Hyundai Exec – Battery Breakthrough Could Drive EV Market Share To 90% By 2025"

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I don’t think they are conservative at all. Hyundai was barely making ICE cars 15 years ago that were better than a lawn mower. They have come the furthest of any car company in the world in that time in my opinion and the introduction of the Ionic/Niro in all its variants over 2017 is a giant leap. And in 2018 they will beat EVERYONE to market with meaningful CUV BEV vehicles in both Hyundai and Kia form. By the end of 2018 Hyundai/Kia is set to be a major player in the real world of vehicles that are at all 3 levels of electrification (yes hybrids as electrified purists…get over yourselves)

Hyundai has very close ties with LG and Samsung. They are all korean companies. This means that they will always get the newest battery technologies ahead of everyone else. If I was into investing I would be buying a lot of HYMTF right now…

I agree Tom. Hyundai is definitely not conservative in its electrification efforts.

Sounds like a bunch of dreams.
Of course something can take 90%, or 110%, if wonder batteries are invented and moved to production overnight. Or mobile antigravity devices. Or teleportion. Everything is possible in theory. You don’t need Hyundai execs or random year numbers to speculate about such baseless fantasies 😉

The demo of Ionic Materials’ “plastic battery”, as seen an episode of PBS’ “Nova” entitled “Search for the Super Battery”, wasn’t just a dream, nor a “baseless fantasy”.

The demo doesn’t prove they can successfully commercialize the tech, and it doesn’t prove the batteries can be charged in the <10 minute time frame that EVs need to be fully competitive with gasmobiles. But it's certainly proof that a quantum jump in battery tech has already been demonstrated in the laboratory!

And it's pretty amusing (as well as deeply ironic) to see a die-hard "fool cell" fanboy like you, zzzzzzzzzz, complain about a "baseless fantasy". That's exactly what that "hydrogen economy" is, and will always remain.

Energy density, charge rate, longevity?

No hard facts to be found on their website!

I think you’ve mentioned that episode before, but just because it’s an acclaimed series like Nova, does not mean their battery is worth mentioning.

I think they do claim better longevity than current li-ion batteries, but certainly you’re right to question whether or not these have real commercial potential.

But this isn’t the only company or team working on solid state batteries. It’s just the working prototype that I know the most about.

How many years are you waiting for “battery breakthroughs” just around the corner and reading hot air announcements from fly-over-night grab investor money startups?
I understand perfectly well that anybody can believe BS for couple years if he doesn’t read research papers and have no clue what is going on. But somebody need to be complete idiot to believe all random hot air for decade and take it for real. How about Cold Fusion, are believer in it too?

I’m not trying to claim that technical progress isn’t going in this field and it will not materialize in due time. It will certainly go in production and even reach down to automotive cell price level. But nobody knows at this time what exactly year and what decade. Somebody claiming he “knows” is either charlatan or just idiot fanboy.

If you read original interview with the Hyundai executive, he is basically saying the same – lets fantasize some unrealistic breakthrough and what will happen IF. He didn’t say he knows it will happen on that year.

PBS’s NOVA – proudly sponsored by the David Koch fund for Science.


That’s how you know it’s going to be rigorous.

“PBS’s NOVA – proudly sponsored by the David Koch fund for Science.”

Yeah, I do feel some cognitive dissonance every time I hear that ad for Koch Industries on a “Nova” episode.

But just because the Koch Bros. are some of the strongest supporters of the hard right wingnuts, doesn’t mean they don’t actually fund real charities. In the real world, even the most reprehensible people usually have some good qualities.

Yep, even Hitler brought us the VW bug. 🙂

And he opposed smoking, was a vegetarian, and loved dogs (or at least his dog).

Pu-pu: “die-hard “fool cell” fanboy like you, ” I’m do not qualify for fanboys like you as I don’t follow “one size, one brand and one technology must fit all no matter what” principle like you. Li Ion batteries (including solid state ones in the future) are fine for many application including cars, fuel cells too. You need to be die hard fanboy or Elon cultie to believe one must exclude another. FC EVs are limited by refueling network, while BEVs are limited by cost, speed and cheap overnight charging availability. These limitations do not overlap much of the time. Fuel cells for cars are more experimental right now and so are more interesting to follow. BEVs are getting closer to “yet another car” stage – I don’t mean disparage them, just that people are getting used to them and it isn’t as exciting as before. This particular interview was done “here at the South Korean manufacturer’s fuel cell development lab.” as per AutoNews link. Does it tell you something about “one battery chemistry for everything” approach? It isn’t like they have small “just in case” lab with few people: “Industries are saying that Hyundai Motor Compoany broke down price… Read more »

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ If you want to show your interest in pure non interested science, you should add the cost of fuel cell and an appropriate “clean” fuelling structure to your disadvantage list.
Your claim about cheap FCEV being done, is BS.
Until you discard such a disadvantage, I don’t find your comment any neutral than a fan boy.
Just saying!


All kinds of EV component cost estimates for mass production at current and near future technology development level are well studied by DOE and others. No need to get into emotional fan blogsphere for it.


Actually that doubling of energy density that solid state could provide really wouldn’t go amiss. Anybody who ever sat in the back of a Model S might have realized that to gain “a few cubic feet under the floorboard” could really help improve legroom. Along with improved cycle life, quicker recharging, improved safety, simplified packs due to no active cooling needs and lower production cost I think solid state is the last jump batteries need to make before they are comfortably there.

So lets hope that Hyundai or any of the many other contenders in the solid state race manage to make it work at some point.

It’s going to surely happen, because there’s huge potential and we are at beginning. Remember first iphone that was just 10 years ago. Batterys are going to in all kinds of transportation.

Lower cost is the main driver. The big reson to get some new battery chemistries would be to increase charge speed.

Right. Batteries are already small and light enough to enable BEVs to compete with gasmobiles. The Tesla Model S’s higher curb weight doesn’t at all reduce its ability to compete with cars from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

At this point it’s far more important to reduce cost and improve charging speed of batteries. Further reducing size and weight would certainly be nice, but it’s not necessary.

Indeed….it is really all about the cost now. There’s almost no one still saying “People won’t by EVs!”

Tesla shut them up by taking over the sports sedan market.

Challenge is now to work down the food chain starting with the Model 3.

GM seems headed there from the latest rumblings from Detroit. What with swelling inventories and slow sales.
Their fall back is always, “we built them but nobody wanted them!”

Tesla’s approach toward electrification has proven superior. ICEmakers can’t advertise superior benefits of elecfrified models over their highly profitable gassers.

Mass production of Model 3 can change all that, years and years before solid state batteries become viable.
300 mile BEVs can be affordably scaled and Tesla is the only company set to do just that.

GM charges $40,000 for a near subcompact BEV, and it’s $40,000 PHEV/EREV with insuffient seating yet they say sales are low because folks just don’t want electric cars. When Volt gets highly discounted as shown with used gen 1s in the used car market, they fly off the shelves. Affordable batteries only come by manufacturing large quantities.

Tesla will end the age of boutique commuter BEVs and PHEVs.

Their fall back is always, “we built them but nobody wanted them!”

That would explain the Bolt lease deals (or rather lack of lease deals).

The problem is that they are only marketing them in an area that already has multiple options to choose from.

Now if they were to dive into an area that isn’t a “compliance state”, like say Pennsylvania…

Quote: “Their fall back is always, ‘we built them but nobody wanted them!’”

“Fall back” is the wrong term. It is their strategy. They made clear conscious decisions to design meaningful flaws into the products. They have then pretended the flaws don’t exist and blamed the resulting low demand on the drivetrain.

The apparent goal appears to be milking current investments to their fullest. Sure looking like a “Kodak moment” where protecting the past costs the future.

So GM is declaring the Bolt EV a failure and blamed it on the drivetrain? Could you please point me to this press release?

I suppose they do not have to. Because they know advocates are their own worst enemy.

Only an electrek reading “EV advocate” and an Oil industry executive would look at the best selling non-Tesla BEV and declare it a failure 6 months out of the gate.

Even though sales have risen on the Bolt every month while other car sales have dropped like a rock. Even though the Bolt outsells almost all cadillac models and many buicks. Even with little to no incentives on the car. What a failure the Bolt is! *eye roll*

Could you please link to me where GM is saying this? Not a speculative article about what UAW demands.

It seems to me that if they wanted to lay the breadcrumbs for such a strategy, they would have insisted that the recent plant shut down was at least partially due to low Bolt sales. Yet the official company line is that slumping sonic sales are the reason and it is not due to Bolt sales at all.

If there is a breakthrough in anti-gravity devices, wheels will be gone in 90% of vehicles by 2025!

90 percent of transportation will be achieved via ‘Star Trek’ style Transporters by 2025 if a breakthrough can be achieved soon!

I could totally get behind that. Live anywhere, work anywhere, and not have to commute.

Plus if you’ve got any health issues it will detect it and fix it right. Sounds awesome!

Well, as long as a fly doesn’t make it in the pod with you 😉

That last suggestion is very important. Clean your pods.

No more worry about potholes.

“However, for our money, the technology really does not have to increase much further past where we are today, at least when it comes to the technology and battery densities of today…as no one is asking for denser cells, but rather just cheaper ones.”

I’m (and a lot of other people based on their purchasing decisions) asking for denser and cheaper ones that can reliably fast charge atleast 2x as fast as they can today…

Make that happen and you’ve got a winner!

Why are you asking for denser cells? And why would this matter so much to you?

“Battery Breakthrough Could Drive EV Market Share To 90% By 2025”

Yes, but we could have realistically claimed that a true quantum jump in battery tech could drive EV market share to 90% within eight years at any time after 1990, which is when GM showed the Impact prototype EV which was developed into the EV1. (That used the revolutionary AC integrated motor controller (including inverter) invented by Alan Cocconi, which is the lynchpin of the energy-efficient powertrain in every production EV today.)

Sadly, for the past ~30 years all we’ve seen in the battery field is incremental improvements, rather than the hoped-for quantum jump and the “holy grail” of EV batteries. But maybe we’ll finally get that holy grail with solid state batteries within a few years. At least I keep hoping that will happen! (Definitely a triumph of hope over experience.)

That quantum jump that solid state promises would get us to 90% adoption, but we don’t need it for cars with plugs to get to 50% market share.

A successful 150,000 Model 3s per year ramps up the game and Model Y forces the tipping point.

5 years is too optimistic. Product cycles in cars make progress glacial. I think 2025 to 2030 to that milestone on liquid transfer lithium sounds more realistic given no upheaval in oil prices that would surely quicken the EV revolution.

“5 years is too optimistic. Product cycles in cars make progress glacial.”

Remember that New York City went from a city being served almost entirely by horse-drawn vehicles to one served almost entirely by motor vehicles in the space of about 11-13 years, depending on what source you read.

If people really want BEVs, and really don’t want gasmobiles, then auto makers will rush to put BEVs into production. And if virtually nobody is buying gasmobiles, then auto makers will quit making them.

Yes, I know the big question is “Where will the money come from to switch over so many assembly lines and auto parts makers to the new tech, so quickly?” Well, that’s why we call the EV tech revolution “disruptive”. When the adoption rate hits its stride on the “S”-curve of accelerating adoption, then auto makers will have to scramble to find or borrow enough money to switch their production over quickly. Those which can’t, will fall behind and go out of business.

I would be surprised if we don’t have commercial solid-state batteries by 2020. There is a lot going on now with several interesting leads and there is an enormous market out there for the first one to make it. That puts pressure on development.

With regards to need, solid state batteries would have a ton of advantages. Higher density will mean cheaper batteries per energy unit stored. They will also be lighter meaning more range per kWh. They will also have higher C-rate so they can be fully charged in way less than an hour. We might see 10-15 minutes to 80% charge, that would make the only real advantage of hydrogen fuel cells moot.

Someone out there:
>> We might see 10-15 minutes to 80% charge, that would make the only real advantage of hydrogen fuel cells moot.<<

First you would need to bring down costs below $50/kWh to put another stationary battery at charger and keep everything at reasonable cost without bringing down electric grid to its knees by peak demand. Even then it would not provide much advantages to over half of the world population that can't charge home at reasonable cost.
It isn't even close to horizon. Solid state batteries are not even in expensive portable electronics yet. Cars will be later.

I read that as “all the current batteries suck, so we are waiting for new ones to come out”.

There are a number of companies reporting breakthroughs in lithium ion batteries. Nano technology and processes that improve battery cathode density, charge/discharge characteristics and could cut battery costs in half, are a little as a few quarters away. A small Vancouver company seems to be at the forefront on that, with a pilot plant producing materials in a fraction of the time of current methods, using much cheaper lithium feed stock and no cobalt.

Add in the research on graphiene anodes, and we could start to see the technical limit of lithium ion batteries at approx 5x their current density! A date of 2020-2025 is surprisingly realistic.

Dear Hyundai, please crank out Ioniq’s like there is no tomorrow, and put real marketing dollars behind them. You have a winner.

Also, please offer a 50% battery capacity expansion in next model year just as an option. Kthxbye

It’s already part of the plan.

Battery technology has already improved 50 % and that’s why we are seeing the increased range in many EVs like Leaf, i3, Focus-EV, Prius Prime, Volt and so on.

Another 50% increase should enable vehicles to hit the magic 300 mile range if dual motors are deployed like in Model S/X. If all automakers stick with a single motor, then we have to depend on Tesla alone to be in the lead.

Hyundai made a lot of noise about their Ioniq EV back in April. Now 3 months later there’s still no sign of it anywhere!! So what’s up with that Hyundai??!! It’s already been tested by auto journals & it’s great according to the write ups but where are the cars??!! H-dealers are all bs-ing us about availability or more to the point coming next week..maybe next year..

I don’t think they meant it as their permanent offering. They were also ramping up the hybrid and the PHEV versions and those selling well too. Kia (same company) is getting slammed with demand for the Niro. It’s all part of a big equation that this family of Ioniq/Niro were a bigger success than they estimated. In the BEV case, it would appear the lower range one was a stop gap until they figured out packaging for a higher range version so they figured it wouldn’t sell well until that upgrade. (my speculation).

The Ionic EV IS nice.
In Norway you have to wait in line to get one.

I’m waiting for the new 2018 version with extended range.
The car feels special to drive, compared to other EVs. It feels very energy efficient.

I’m considering the Zoe (the range/price) is best. I like the Ionic better, and it has better materials and feels better.

The home market for the Ionic was bigger then expected, but they are ramping up production. Slowly.

Nowhere? It is selling like crazy.
Only needs to ramp up production from 20k per year to the double or triple.

PBS’ Nova, along with Frontline, used to be great programs, but they’ve long since been greatly compromised. Nova has pretty graphics but the amount of errors they currently make can’t hold a candle to the great Nova programs of decades ago. They must either not know the difference themselves, or else cynically think no one will know the difference. That is certainly the case with Frontline, which, for instance did a very long ‘special’ “Proving” LH Oswald was the lone-killer of JFK, while even the House Committee showed multiple people were involved. You see that often in “How Things Work?”, that when the ‘author’ doesn’t know something he merely makes it up, or comes up with some way he thinks it happens. As a for instance “Sensors in the floor sense a bowling ball has gone by” at a bowling area Pin Deck. (Its actually a photocell and infrared light source above the floor – since ‘sensors in the floor’ would be incredibly expensive to detect a plastic or rubber bowling ball) – but that is just typical of the fairy tales they tell. But here I’m in agreement with ZZZZZ about ‘expecting’ future technology when none exists. Fuel cells… Read more »

“….Korea Herald revealed recently that Hyundai is developing solid-state batteries also on its own, already establishing pilot-scale production facilities.”

“….Hyundai is developing solid-state batteries through its Namyang R&D Center’s battery precedence development team and it has secured a certain level of technology,”

Awesome 🙂

You don’t have to look in labs to find fast charging batteries. Toshiba’s SCiB cells have been available for years. LTO also has extremely high cycle life. Amazing technology, but energy density is too low for long range EVs.

….was supposed to be a reply to Pushmi’s message about Ionic Power at the top of the thread. Sigh.

Judging from what Hyundai is doing fro the past 15years,, they will just wait for the Japs or European to do something and benchmark it I an unprecedented rate.