As Hyundai Motor’s environmentally friendly vehicles are gaining great popularity unexpectedly, not only Hyundai Motor but also LG Chem that supplies lithium-ion batteries, a core part of eco-friendly cars, are accelerating their production.
According to industry sources on June 1, Hyundai Motor’s Ioniq electric vehicle (EV) fell behind with production for more than a month. Some sales representatives at dealers even advise consumers to buy the Avante or Sonata since there will be a long wait for the Ioniq Hybrid and Ioniq Electric.
Hyundai Motor initially ordered 6,000 to 7,000 EV batteries at LG Chem to produce the Ioniq EV. However, the company has difficulties in production as the demand of the Ioniq EV turned out to be two times higher than expected due to the EV syndrome at EV contests held by local governments earlier this year. In particular, LG Chem is seeking to boost production to meet the growing demand, but it is struggling to supply batteries to Hyundai Motor as well as other automakers.
Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor seeks to secure the original technology of lithium-ion batteries as the batteries are becoming more and more important in environmentally friendly cars. The company is now hiring lithium-ion battery researchers with experience. An official from Hyundai Motor said, “We have no plans to directly produce batteries at plants but we are trying to secure the original technology of lithium-ion batteries since they grow in importance in the eco-friendly car sector.” An official from the industry said, “I think that Hyundai Motor learned the importance of batteries with the latest Ioniq delay issue. So, the company can seek for battery demand diversification in the future.”