Hyundai and Kia entered into an agreement to invest in a U.S. battery developer in hopes of accelerating the development of solid-state batteries for its future vehicles.
The two South Korean automakers are working with Factorial Energy of Woburn, Massachusetts on the development of a new solid-state battery.
The deal, which includes an investment of an unspecified amount, Hyundai-Kia will integrate Factorial technology at the cell, module and system levels. It represents Factorial’s first major strategic investment from a major automotive group.
Interest in solid-state technology, which has the potential to allow vehicles to drive longer distances on a single charge and cost less, has attracted new investments from carmakers such as Toyota and Ford, where executives have said they could replace lithium-ion batteries in cars and trucks by the end of the decade.
Factorial technology makes big impression
Factorial has developed what it describes as “breakthrough” solid-state technology that addresses key issues holding back widescale consumer adoption of electric vehicles: driving range and safety.
“Our partnership with Hyundai is yet another validation of our solid-state battery technology, and we look forward to demonstrating its market readiness in Hyundai vehicles,” said Factorial Energy CEO Siyu Huang. “We can help unlock mass adoption of electric vehicles — and the resulting environmental benefits — through our safe and long-range batteries.”
Factorial has developed solid electrolyte material, which enables reliable cell performance with high-voltage and high-capacity electrodes and has been scaled in 40Ah cells that perform at room temperature. The result is what the company dubbed FEST: Factorial Electrolyte System Technology.
The technology is safer than conventional lithium-ion technology, extends driving range by 20% to 50%, and is drop-in compatible for easy integration into existing lithium-ion battery manufacturing infrastructure, according to Factorial.
Hyundai team hails investment
“The Hyundai Cradle team has been impressed with Factorial’s management team, technology, and novel manufacturing approach, which could make the transition to solid state seamless and cost-effective,” said Henry Chung, SVP and head of Cradle Silicon Valley. “We look forward to collaborating with our new portfolio company to further advance their technology.”