The biggies are usually very helpful towards the smaller companies. They pick up stakes if the small entrepreneurship looks successful or sometimes even if it holds potential for a future tech collaboration. We have seen Hero MotoCorp do it with Ather and the likes. Hyundai, Kia and LG Chem, the three big Korean companies are now on a similar path. The brands, jointly, are conducting a EV and Battery Challenge (EVBC) competition. New Energy Nexus will be overseeing this competition. This is on a global level and 10 worthy start-ups will be selected. The three will then go ahead and sponsor or collaborate with these companies. The start-ups will be allowed access to the Koreans’ labs, expertise as well as resources. In return, the Korean companies will absorb these new ideas and thereby give their customers additional value through enhanced products.
The competition is open to all start-ups that have a working prototype. Those looking at fleet management as well as battery management, EVs, personalisation, manufacturing as well as recycling are being encouraged to take part. The contest is open from June 22 to August 28 and those interested can apply at evbatterychallenge.com. New Energy Nexus team will then sort out the entries. Participants who pass the feasibility and technology tests will be advanced further. There will be virtual interviews held in October. A two-day workshop will be held for these participants in November at Hyundai CRADLE Silicon Valley office. Thereafter, officials from all three companies will evaluate the entries and secure their prospects.
LG Chem, it seems, has been doing this from quite sometime and had held a similar contest last year as well. The battery maker is keenly looking at new talent and ideas in this sector. Myung-Hwan Kim, chief production & procurement officer as well as the head of the battery research center at LG Chem’s Energy Solution Company said that depending on the potential, he is looking to foster relations with these start-ups with Hyundai and Kia.
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