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Hyundai Announces Third Partnership in Three Weeks, This Time for Solid-State Battery Tech

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Hyundai Cradle and Ionic Materials logos

Boy, Hyundai is entering into a lot of partnerships lately. For example, back at the end of June, it formed a partnership with Wärtsilä to reuse and resell used electric vehicle batteries, and just last week, it formed a partnership with connected car technology manufacturer Autotalks. Today, though, Hyundai has a new partnership with a private battery developer based out of Massachusetts: Ionic Materials.

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According to Hyundai Motor Company, the investment is technically from Hyundai CRADLE, its corporate venturing and open innovation business. With Ionic Materials, the partnership would advance development of battery technology and EV performance with solid-state batteries.

Solid-state batteries have been the target of a number of battery developers (including one that was partnered up with Dyson, the company that is probably most famous for vacuum cleaners). The solid-state batteries will apparently be able to solve the problems built into the currently common lithium-ion battery packs, such as the troubling origins of components like cobalt and the battery pack’s flammability.

Ionic Materials’ battery technology, as opposed to lithium-ion batteries, will according to the company eliminate safety issues surrounding liquid electrolytes, store more energy, and use less-expensive chemistries  and manufacturing processes (with little to no cobalt involved).

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Hyundai CRADLE vice president John Suh expressed optimism for Ionic Materials’ battery technology, calling it a breakthrough and adding that it could greatly improve modern electric vehicle batteries — something that Hyundai Motor Company would very much like to be a part of.

Ionic Materials founder and CEO Mike Zimmerman expressed similar enthusiasm, saying, “The investment by Hyundai represents another key company milestone and demonstrates our rapid momentum as we develop polymer-based materials for solid-state batteries.”