The Korean government will bring together both state and leading private researchers… to produce an Electric Vehicle battery strong enough to fuel a non-stop trip across the country.
Kim Ji-yeon introduces us to a five-year roadmap to boost the EV market.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy is setting aside a combined 38-point-6-million U.S. dollars to ultimately develop an electric vehicle that can cover the 400 kilometers from Seoul to Busan — the length of the country — on a single charge.
The project will involve 27 private entities and some 230 researchers from the EV and rechargable batteries sector.
Currently, the batteries in local EV models limit them to an average range of 150 kilometers before they need to recharge.
Even the model with the longest range, Hyundai’s Ionic Electric, can cover less than 200 kilometers.
The project will be led by the Korea Battery Industry Association… in cooperation with the automobile, chemical and new material units of some of the country’s largest conglomerates.
The key will be materials.
Researchers aim to increase the battery’s nickel content from the current 50 or 60 percent… to more than 80 percent, which will create higher voltage.
By combining silicon and carbon materials, they hope to increase the charge-storage capacity of electrodes.
They’re also planning to develop safer materials used for the production of electrolytes to withstand more than five volts.
Another goal is smaller and lighter batteries.
That can be achieved by making the battery separators thinner, from the current 30 micrometers down to 18 micrometers.
The ministry says Korea is the only country the world in which the government actively seeks the cooperation of state and private entites in the making of electric vehicles.
Around the globe some 312-thousand electric and plug-in hybrids were sold in the first half of this year — marking 51-percent growth from a year before.
That kind of growth can’t be ignored — and the Korean government wants to make sure local manufacturers have the upper hand.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.
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