Hyundai Motor Group is getting more battery supplies from SK Innovation for its Kona EV, TheElec has learned.
SK Innovation was supplying batteries produced at its factory in Komarom, Hungary to Hyundai’s factory in Nosovice, Czech.
Hyundai’s move comes amid the recent Kona EV fire scandal, in which the cars will be set on fire when charging. The cars in question used batteries made by LG Chem.
SK began operation of its Hungary factory in May.
Hyundai’s Czech factory had produced gas fueled cars previously but began production of Kona EV in March this year. The South Korean automobile giant is turning the factory to is electric vehicle production hub in light of increased green gas regulations in Europe.
SK Innovation has previously supplied batteries made in Seosan, South Korea for its supply to Hyundai, which was disadvantageous in distribution. The Hungary factory was designed to produce up to 9.7GWh of batteries per year and SK Innovation was ramping up the production rate there, people familiar with the matter said.
Kona EV launched in Europe in 2018 and has sold 41,600 units as of July this year. Out of the total units sold, 12,200 units had used SK Innovation batteries. This accounts for around 30% of the total Kona EV units sold in Europe.
People familiar with the matter said SK Innovation likely become the preferred supplier of batteries over LG Chem to Hyundai after October.
SK began supplying batteries for Kona EV last year __ before that, it had only supplied for Kia Motors' Niro EV. Its battery volume for Kona EV has steadily increased since then as Hyundai had trouble securing supply from LG Chem, even prior to the recent fires.