HHI branches out into electric car battery and lubricant base oil business

South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has jumped into the electric car battery market, a high-potential next generation sector currently being dominated by LG Chemical, Samsung SDI, and SK Innovation. Meanwhile, HHI’s affiliate and oil refiner Hyundai Oilbank will be expanding into the lubricant base oil market, which will spark a four-way competition in the electric battery and lubricant base oil markets.

Earlier this month on April 2, HHI established a joint venture with Canadian electric car parts supplier Magna E-Car. The joint production plant is located in Ontario, Canada which will start churning out electric car batteries from 2014. HHI invested $800 billion in the venture, while Magna E-Car supplied the larger chunk of investments at $120 million. The Ontario plant is currently test-producing electric car battery models developed using Magna’s battery cell technology.

HHI’s sudden interest in electric batteries can be explained by the sector’s high potential. The electric battery market was relatively small at $3.0 billion last year, but is expected to cross $30 billion by 2020. HHI plans to play catch up to LG Chemical, the leading producer of electric car batteries in Korea at the moment.

“We will build eight global production plants by 2020 including bases in North America and Europe, and raise electric car battery output to 0.80 million packs. Our goal is to clinch a 30 percent share of the North American and European markets,” said HHI.

For full article see Maeil Business.