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Hyundai Motor Group will develop solid-state batteries with Factorial Energy

Hyundai Motor Group has announced that it has partnered with Factorial Energy to develop solid-state batteries for its future battery-electric vehicles. The joint development agreement, which includes strategic investment, will see the Korean giant’s brands integrate Factorial’s technology at the cell, module, and system levels. They will also perform vehicle-level integration and codevelop specifications for making Factorial’s batteries. This is Factorial Energy’s first major strategic investment from a global automaker and strengthens its existing research relationship with Hyundai Motor Group.

Factorial Energy has made a breakthrough solid-state technology that addresses the main factors keeping battery-electric vehicles from seeing widespread adoption: range and safety. Called FEST, or Factorial Electrolyte System Technology, this proprietary technology leverages the solid electrolyte material enabling safe and reliable cell performance with high-voltage and high-capacity electrodes. They have been scaled to 40 Ah and optimized to perform at room temperature. Factorial says their FEST batteries are safer than a conventional lithium-ion design and extends an EV’s driving range by 20 to 50 percent. It is a drop-in design, meaning it can be easily integrated into the existing manufacturing lines.

“Our partnership with Hyundai is yet another validation of our solid-state battery technology, and we look forward to demonstrating its market readiness in Hyundai vehicles,” said Siyu Huang, CEO of Factorial Energy. “We can help unlock mass adoption of electric vehicles — and the resulting environmental benefits — through our safe and long-range batteries.” Henry Chung, Senior Vice President and Head of Hyundai CRADLE Silicon Valley added that the Korean automaker has been impressed with Factorial’s management team, technology, and approach to manufacturing batteries, something he believes will “make the transition to solid-state batteries seamless and cost-effective.”

Factorial Energy is based in Woburn, Massachusetts, and has made breakthroughs in the development of solid-state batteries. In addition to the longer driving range, Factorial says its solid-state batteries are safer and have cost parity with existing lithium-ion packs. The company says Hyundai Motor Group isn’t the only manufacturer validating its technology. However, it is the first to publicly announce its intention to collaborate and integrate the FEST batteries with its existing vehicles.

Hyundai Motor Group is one of the first automakers to introduce a vehicle platform dedicated specifically to battery-electric applications. It is also one of the only brands with electric vehicles that have 400- and 800-volt charging architectures. As a result, its latest EVs can charge from 10 to 80 percent in 18 minutes. Currently, only vehicles on the E-GMP and the rear-drive-based M3 platforms have that capability.

The first three vehicles on the E-GMP platform are the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and Genesis GV60. All will be able to travel up to 300 miles on a single charge in rear-drive single-motor configurations. They’ll also be offered in dual-motor versions but if you’re looking for sportier versions, the EV6 and GV60 are the only ones that will initially get them. The most potent one is the EV6 GT, which makes 576 hp and 545 lb-ft of torque between its two electric motors, enabling it to hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. Genesis’ GV60 Performance will make 429 hp and 446 lb-ft but can be momentarily bumped to 483 hp and 516 lb-ft when the car goes into Boost mode. Hyundai is expected to offer an N version of the Ioniq 5 with a similar output to the EV6 GT.

Beyond the GV60, Genesis will also offer the Electrified G80 and Electrified GV70, both of which are on the M3 platform. The former’s two electric motors make a combined output of 365 hp and 516 lb-ft. Its battery size, however, hasn’t been revealed yet. Genesis will reveal the Electrified GV70 in mid-2022 and could get the same powertrain as the Electrified G80. Thanks to Factorial Energy’s battery design, battery-electric vehicles from Hyundai Motor Group’s three brands could eventually get solid-state packs before they get complete redesigns. That will potentially give Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis a lead against their rivals while helping make EVs more viable for more consumers.

Written by Stefan Ogbac
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