SEJONG, Sept. 21 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea will invest 43 billion won (US$38.4 million) in developing a new electric vehicle (EV) battery with a range of some 400 kilometers per charge by 2020 in order to foster the clean energy sector as a new growth engine, the trade ministry said Wednesday.
The government and 27 battery firms and private research institutions, including industry leaders Hyundai Motor Co. and LG Chem, will work together to produce the advanced battery that will pave the way for a 400-km EV ride from Seoul to Busan on a single charge, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
Currently, a high-end battery installed in the Ioniq Electric by Hyundai Motor has a maximum range of 190 km per charge.
The ministry said the government will invest 27 billion won into the project to more than double the battery capacity by 2020, with the private sector shouldering the remaining 16 billion won.
“The government led the project to help businesses and labs link together in pushing forward with battery research, development and commercialization,” said the ministry.
The South Korean government earlier unveiled a long-term scheme to transform the country’s energy sector into an eco-friendly environment and foster the electric and hydrogen car sectors as key export items.
Under the program, the electric vehicle industry is at the top, with the country aiming to export an annual 200,000 units of eco-friendly cars by 2020 with a market share of 10 percent.