Hyundai investigates battery leasing at lower EV costs
Hyundai is looking at battery leasing as a means of lowering the price of electric cars and ensuring environmentally-conscious reuse of battery packs.
On Thursday, the automaker announced a memorandum of understanding with the South Korean government and partner companies to create a “ecosystem” for EV batteries, according to a press release.
One of the partners is KST Mobility, which will lease Hyundai batteries for an electric taxi fleet. The company will pay a monthly charge for the battery leases, which will result in lower upfront costs for the purchase of EVs, Hyundai said.
After “extensive usage,” Hyundai said that the batteries would be recovered and used in an energy storage device to rapidly charge EV taxis.
Although the release did not address the size of this business or check that the scheme concerns vehicles based on its upcoming E-GMP platform, Hyundai noted that it had recently obtained a patent for a container capable of transporting large quantities of used batteries efficiently.
LG Energy Solution can convert used energy storage batteries and collect data to assist with the initiative. Notice that Hyundai also announced a Battery Leasing Deal with rival SK Innovation last year.
Battery leasing isn’t a novel concept. The industry has been questioning this concept frequently for a decade, as a way to relieve the shock of the sticker on electric cars.
However, no company has been able to commercialize battery leasing on a wide scale—so far.
Chinese automaker Nio wants to make battery leasing a significant part of his business. Last year, it introduced a “battery as a service” business model with monthly battery lease payments and discounts on the purchase price of EVs for consumers who have opted to lease the battery rather than purchase it entirely.
The idea has also come to light in Europe—especially with the Renault Zoe program that has allowed some significant upgrades to the range.
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