Hyundai Motor has begun the development of electric vehicles powered by lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries to launch outside of China, TheElec has learned.
The South Korean automobile giant so far only manufactured electric vehicles that use LFP batteries in China.
Hyundai Motor began the development during the first half of the year to apply LFP batteries to its electric vehicles sold in South Korea and globally.
The development is being done at Uiwang research center in South Korea.
Beijing Hyundai, the company’s joint venture with BAIC, sells electric vehicles with LFP batteries for the Chinese market.
This is because the Chinese government requires cars sold in China to use batteries made by local manufacturers.
Beijing Hyundai receives its LFP batteries from CATL. BYD is also offering to supply it with LFP batteries starting in 2023.
Hyundai Motor uses batteries from SK Innovation and LG Energy Solution, which use nickel cobalt oxides in their batteries instead of LFP, for its vehicles sold in South Korea and globally.
Ioniq 5 and Porter EV uses batteries from SK Innovation, those in Kona EV are supplied by both South Korean battery makers.
Hyundai Motor is likely starting the development of LFP electric vehicles as the battery will allow for competitive pricing.
LFP uses phosphate and iron that are cheaper than materials such as cobalt used in NCM or NCA batteries.
They are over 20% cheaper and are more stable. However, they have been considered to have less drive time than NCM or NCA batteries, while also weighing more.
However, demand for LFP batteries is from Tesla’s active use of them as well as concerns over safety.
LG Energy Solution is developing its own LFP battery technology and SK On is also considering development.
Professor Choi Woong-chul of the Department of Automotive Engineering at Kookmin University said consumer reception for LFP batteries won’t be bad as long as companies can secure traveling distance of 350km to 400km.
A Hyundai Motor spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.