Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL) confirmed with Cailian Press on Thursday that it is to supply its products to Hyundai Motor Group’s Kia Motors.
Currently, the EVs sold by Hyundai and Kia in South Korea are powered by batteries made by local companies such as LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation’s SK On. Kia, headquartered in Seoul, is the second-largest automaker in South Korea after its parent company Hyundai.
As reported by Hankook Ilbo, citing unnamed sources, Kia Motors has selected batteries from CATL for its NIRO crossover all-electric SUV to be sold in South Korea. This is the first time that Kia has adopted power batteries from outside home country. Kia’s decision is intended to expand its range of power cell suppliers, as well as to take into account the cost of the new vehicle.
In addition, in March last year, Hyundai announced a global recall of 81,701,000 EVs, including the electric versions of the KONA and IONIQ models, because of fire incidents. A defective component of the high-voltage battery system was the cause, and the battery supplier is LG Chem of South Korea, which shouldered 70% of the costs of the recall. Because of this recall, Hyundai doubts its battery supply capacity and the safety of LG Chem products.