Hyundai to set up JV for lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles

Under the agreement, the joint venture named MAHY E-CELL planned to invest 200 million U.S. dollars into the project, with Hyundai Heavy owning a 40 percent stake and Magna E-Car holding the remaining stake, according to an e-mailed statement by Hyundai Heavy.

The venture will build a plant on Ontario, Canada to produce 10,000 battery packs a year from as early as 2014, while aiming to build additional eight plants in Europe and North America to manufacture 800,000 battery packs annually by 2020. It had a target of owning 30 percent market share in the region by 2020.

Hyundai Heavy expected the venture to serve as a stepping stone to enter the Energy Storage System (ESS) business, saying that it planned to link its solar energy and wind power business with the ESS as a new growth engine. The shipbuilder has been making efforts to diversify its business portfolio into the renewable energy sector in a bid to reduce its heavy reliance on the shipbuilding business.

"The establishment of MAHY E-CELL is a reflection of Hyundai Heavy’s determination to become a leading eco-friendly integrated energy company by advancing into Europe and North America’s electric car batteries market and ESS business. We see solar energy, wind power and energy storage systems as integral to our future growth," said Lee Choong-dong, a chief operating officer of the company’s green energy division.