Hyundai auto group partners with domestic company to recycle old EV batteries in energy storage system

10, Sep. 2019

SEOUL, AJU – In an effort to accelerate the diversification of its business portfolio into renewable energy, South Korea's Hyundai auto group will carry out a joint project with OCI, a domestic chemical product maker, to recycle old batteries for electric vehicles in an energy storage system for solar power generation.

The Hyundai Motor Group and OCI signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday to explore business models that link solar power with an energy storage system (ESS) by recycling electric vehicle waste batteries, and to cooperate in developing distributed power generation markets in South Korea and North America.

ESS, which has emerged as an effective means to establish stable and efficient systems for power demand and supply. Energy storage demand is growing thanks to the global transition from carbon-intensive energy sources to natural gas and renewable source solutions. In June last year, Hyundai forged a strategic partnership with Wärtsilä of Finland to commercialize ESS for battery recycling. In 2017, Wärtsilä acquired Greensmith Energy, a U.S. energy storage software and integration service provider.

OCT produces energy story system and chemical products including polysilicon, which is a high purity, polycrystalline form of silicon used as a raw material by the solar photovoltaic and electronics industry. The company said in a statement that it would provide a 700-kilowatt solar power plant in Gongju south of Seoul and a 4MW solar power plant in Texas as demonstration sites.

OCT will supply and install a power conditioning system while Hyundai will provide ESS using electric vehicle waste batteries and is in charge of maintenance. “Using our years of experience in the solar energy business, we will create new synergy and develop creative business models through ESS demonstration with the Hyundai Motor Group,” OCI CEO Kim Teak-joung was quoted as saying.

“Through this collaboration, we will not only enhance our technological prowess but also set a bridgehead for our entry into the global renewable energy market,” Hyundai's strategic division head Chi Young-jo said, describing ESS as an eco-friendly solution to deal with electric vehicle waste batteries.