Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors said Monday that they will invest in Ionity, a joint venture by the world’s leading automobile giants to build a pan-European high-power charging network for electric vehicles.
Hyundai Motor Group, parent firm of the nation’s top two automakers, has acquired a 20 percent stake in the joint venture in an effort to demonstrate its commitment to clean mobility, the firms said. Details such as the value of the deal were not provided.
Thomas Schemera (front left), executive vice president and head of product planning and strategy at Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, poses for a photo with Ionity officials at the joint venture’s headquarters in Munich on Friday. (Hyundai Motor Group)
Ionity was founded in November 2017 by BMW Group, Ford Motor Company, Daimler AG and Volkswagen Group, with Audi and Porsche.
At present, Ionity operates a network of 140 fast EV charging stations installed across highways in Europe, which it plans to expand further. The stations hold 350-kilowatt high-power chargers, which allow cars to be charged seven times faster.
With the latest investment Hyundai and Kia also plan to boost the development of high-efficiency EVs and electric sports cars, the firms said. They plan to launch EVs that use 800 volts instead of the typical 400, enabling faster charging.
In a separate announcement, Hyundai and Kia said they had sold a combined 44,838 EVs in the first half of the year, propelling Hyundai Motor Group to the No. 5 spot on the list of the world’s top EV sellers. The figure has more than doubled from the corresponding figure in the same period last year, which stood at 18,445.
Hyundai sold 30,963 EVs, with the Kona EV accounting for more than 75 percent of those sales. Kia, meanwhile, sold 13,875 EVs, with the Niro accounting for 73 percent.
Hyundai Motor Group’s EV market share has increased by 2.4 percentage points to 6.5 percent, taking the latest data into consideration, industry tracker HIS Markit said.
In terms of market share, the group is behind only Tesla, BYD, Renault-Nissan and SAIC.
By Jung Min-kyung (firstname.lastname@example.org