Hyundai bets on new materials to improve its upcoming EVs

Hyundai is constantly looking for ways to improve the range and performance of its EVs. With its latest partnership, Hyundai will develop new materials for better EV performance.

Hyundai taps Toray for new EV materials

Hyundai Motor announced a strategic partnership with Toray Industries on Thursday, a leader in carbon fiber and composite material tech.

Regarded as the global carbon fiber leader, Toray’s advanced materials are used in many sectors, such as automotive and aviation, for their lightweight, strong, and heat-resistant properties.

For example, Toray is working with California-based Joby Aviation to use carbon fiber on its upcoming all-electric air taxi. It’s also signed an agreement with German aerospace Lilium to use carbon fiber composite on its fully electric five-seater jet.

According to Chang Song, Hyundai’s president, the company aims to become a “first mover and gain a competitive edge” with the new materials.

“Hyundai Motor Group aims to leverage this strategic partnership to strengthen its position as a global leader in mobility solutions,” Song explained.

Hyundai IONIQ 6 Limited (Source: Hyundai)

The Korean automaker plans to use the lightweight, high-strength materials to improve EV battery and motor performance. Joint R&D includes carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) parts.

Hyundai said the new materials partnership plays a “key role in the Group’s future mobility strategy.” The materials will be used to improve Hyundai, Kia, and likely Genesis electric vehicles.

2024 Hyundai IONIQ 5 (Source: Hyundai)

Hyundai Motor (including Kia) surpassed Ford and GM in the first three months of 2024, becoming the second-largest EV maker in the US behind Tesla. Unlike many rivals, Hyundai has doubled down on its EV strategy.

Hyundai’s US CEO, Randy Parker, told The Electric, “Why would anybody want to purchase an EV from an [automaker like Toyota or GM] who’s lobbying against EVs?”

“If a person is thinking about buying an EV, I think you want to go to a company who is fully committed to selling EVs in the United States,” Parker added.

While many rivals push back EV plans, Hyundai’s US boss says the company is “all in” on electric cars.

Hyundai already has six of the top ten most fuel-efficient EVs in the US in 2024. Can they do even better?

The Korean automaker aims to be among the top three EV makers globally by the end of 2030. To do so, Hyundai is investing roughly $18 billion (KRW 24 trillion), betting on EVs as the future.

What do you guys think? Can Hyundai stay ahead of the competition and close the gap with Tesla? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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