The South Korean battery supplier SK Innovation revealed today that it’s developing cells that will only need two quick 10-minute charges to cover more than 500 miles (800km) of range when installed in an EV and Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 could be the first to include it.
The report comes from Auto Motor und Sport, where they said the Hyundai Ioniq 5 (first model under new’s Ioniq sub-brand) will be the first model to include this battery in a long range, dual-motor version that will be launched late 2021.
The company said that it is expected to complete the development of a new battery cells, to be ready in the first half of next year, that they said “can play a significant role in the spread of EVs,”.
The announcement, made at a specialist congress for battery technology financed by the South Korean government, didn’t yet include any details of the chemistry used by the new cells, although it did say that the long range is supported by technology using high-density nickels and latest tech that can accommodate more than 1,000 charge/discharge cycles.
For SKI’s near-future tech, EVs might be able to pack a more modest cell capacity—in a small-car footprint, for instance—and still be able to do long-distance road trips with a minimum of break time for charging.
Despite Hyundai and Kia electric vehicles already share same EV propulsion components and software, most Hyundai models, like the Kona Electric (which are already under a big recall over fires), use LG Chem cells while most Kia models, such as the Kia Niro EV, use cells from rival supplier SK Innovation.
A dispute is currently smoldering between SKI and LG Chem. The latter has reported the Korean competitor to the American Trade Commission for stealing trade secrets. LG Chem wants to prevent the manufacture of battery cells in the USA and the import of components.
A decision on the case should not be made until December 10, 2020. The dispute between the two South Korean battery manufacturers could interrupt the supply of important components, for example for VW and Ford (which will use batteries manufactured by SK in the U.S for ID.4 and F-150) in the event of a SKI import ban, as well as cost jobs.