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Energy Solution

Mobility Technology in the Era of Energy Transition

The whole world is putting their heads together to solve global environmental problems such as greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Countries seek to change their energy structures from traditional energy sources to eco-friendly ones, and the automobile industry is also preparing for an era of energy transition through a paradigm shift from the internal combustion engine to eco-friendly vehicles.

Hyundai Motor Group, too, is focusing on energy solutions that could provide and manage safe and clean energy, doing more than just simply developing eco-friendly cars with zero emissions. Hyundai Motor Group will actively explore new areas and boldly collaborate with other industries to become an agent of change

FUTUREElectric Vehicles Spurring Rapid Innovation

Partnerships and Challenges Across Industries

With the COVID-19 pandemic and environmental problems, mankind has begun to search for new ways to coexist with others living on this planet, willing to break away from the current paradigm and create new standards.

The automotive industry is not an exception. As of July 2020, monthly sales of electric vehicles in Europe have reached record highs, and global automakers have announced their plans to actively invest in the electric vehicle sector. Hyundai Motor Group is also planning to make it the first year to achieve electrification in 2021 and launch 23 eco-friendly cars by 2025.

The most important thing in eco-friendly technology is fuel efficiency. How far, and for how long you can drive with limited resources will be the core technology of an eco-friendly vehicle. This is why batteries are drawing attention, and automakers are focusing their efforts on batteries, along with other key components. Hyundai Motor Group is discussing cooperation with several companies to developing efficient battery technology.

Battery technology is now heading to the development of a solid battery called the next generation of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) and an energy storage system (ESS) for recycling LIBs. Namyang Research Institute’s battery leading research team of Hyundai Motor Group has been researching solid batteries since 2017, and ESS Business Development Team in Strategy & Technology Division formed a strategic partnership with Wartsila, an energy company in Finland, to develop ESS in 2018. ESS development is essential because it is the cornerstone of making a truly eco-friendly car. The ESS is a large battery that can store the generated power and supply it when needed or insufficient. And when the LIB – the power source – gets worn out, it can be collected and recycled.

Hyundai Motor Group built ESS facilities at Dangjin Steel Mill of Hyundai Steel and Ulsan manufacturing plant of Hyundai Motor Company and plans to expand the pilot projects to various global regions. A new industry is being derived from the virtuous cycle; the company recycles aged electric vehicle batteries to make ESS and use it to create new electric vehicles with stored electricity.

TECHNOLOGYCore Technologies of The Energy Solution

All About Batteries and Charging Technology

The ‘energy solution sector’ – which aims to use energy efficiently by establishing a system for producing, storing, and managing electrical energy – is drawing attention in the era of eco-friendliness. The green vehicle technology symbolized by electric vehicles is being newly defined using the concept of energy solutions and is actively converging with other industries to evolve.

Hyundai Motor Group focused on solar energy as a means of energy production. In 2018, the company unveiled technologies related to Solar charging system that mainly uses solar energy, and introduced Solar Roof, which can charge the battery with solar energy and prevents battery discharge, while increasing the range.

The Group partnered with an ESS manufacturer that provides the ultimate energy solution technology and are conducting demonstration projects to build ESS facilities both in Korea and abroad. They are also speeding up the development of high-energy-density batteries that effectively manage electrical energy and increase efficiency and working on the development of high-efficiency solar cells that can be applied to solar windows.

The concept of energy management also includes the power management of eco-friendly vehicles. For electric vehicles with all systems powered by electricity, it would obvious to say that power management is everything in EV management. And from this perspective, charging facilities are a very important factor. Hi-Charger developed by Hyundai Motor Group is a high-speed charging facility that charges up to 80% of electric vehicles with large batteries within about 20 minutes. In addition, we are continuing to build an in-road wireless charging facility.

KEY TECH1. The Power of The Sun

Solar Roof

Solar Roofs, which use solar power to generate electricity, extend the mileage of electric-powered cars, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The system is not intended as a main but as an auxiliary power source, and can charge batteries of internal combustion engines.

The process of Solar Roof being utilized as a power source is simple. When sunlight enters the cell surface of a solar panel, electricity is generated, which is stored simultaneously in the starter battery and the main battery via a controller to increase power efficiency. This will either be stored to the vehicle’s reference voltage via the controller then stored in the battery, or indirectly increase fuel efficiency by lowering the load on the vehicle alternator connected to the engine. The controller achieves voltage change and MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking). The MPPT controls voltage and current in order to raise the efficiency of the electric output from the solar cell.

The Sonata Hybrid, the first eco-friendly vehicle to be equipped with a Solar Roof, uses a high-performance, charge-efficient cell. The cells on the Sonata’s panels have a 22.8% efficiency rate, roughly 30~50% higher than the rate for the typical cells used on rooftop panels (15~19%). The solar panels of Sonata HEV have a capacity of approximately 200W; that is, panels exposed to the Sun in good sunlight will produce 200Wh of electricity. That is a non-negligible amount: 200W can turn on two 100-watt bulbs or 11 household LED fluorescent lamps (18W each). At this rate, charging for 5.8 hours per day adds 1,300 km per year to the total driving distance. Those who park their cars outside and/or drive more during the day will see even a greater bonus.

Solar Roof Charging Method

The Solar Roof also functions to reduce the incidences of battery discharge. Recent booms in car electronics, such as the black box camera, have increased battery consumption and thus the number of discharge accidents. According to the Korea Insurance Development Institute, a shocking 4 out of 10 on-road emergency services (2015 data) pertained to battery discharge. The electrical current charged through the Solar Roof per day is 81,200 mAh, which far exceeds the 720 mAh needed per day for a standstill car. Moreover, it merely takes the roof an hour to meet the daily energy needs of the black box camera (12,000 mAh). 

2. The Evolution of Battery Technology

High Energy Density Battery + Energy Storage System

The battery stores electrical energy, and the mileage of the electric vehicle usually depends on the battery capacity. The bigger the battery capacity, the greater the mileage, but the increased volume and weight of the battery will also take up interior space, reduce energy efficiency, and increase the prices. Therefore, the energy density of the battery plays an important role in efficiently increasing mileage.

Amid fierce competition among battery manufacturers to increase the energy density of electric vehicle batteries, Hyundai Motor Group is designing roadmaps for battery development and develop high-density lithium-air battery technology.

The Battery Development Roadmap of Hyundai Motor Group

In addition, environmental issues have strengthened policy regulations regarding waste recycling, and the recycling technology of EV batteries is drawing more attention. The ESS is a large battery that stores and supplies the generated power, and this is made of a number of small LIBs. Since the power source of the electric vehicle is the LIB, it can be used as an ESS by collecting and reprocessing old batteries. Hyundai Motor Group is planning to increase it values through ‘the entire life cycle of EV batteries’ with battery suppliers, and is currently seeking to cooperate with KHNP(Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power), OCI, Hanwha Solution on demonstrating ESS and distributed energy resource business for electric vehicle battery reusing, and co-developing home and grid-scale Energy Storage Systems with photovoltaic.

ESS being developed by Hyundai Motor Group

V2G (Vehicle to Grid) is one of the promising technologies for electric vehicles that can use electricity stored in a battery of another electric vehicle. Not only can the V2G system reduce the maximum amount of electricity used by buildings by supplying electricity, but it can also prevent power outage and even resell electricity.

60 kWH, electricity that is stored in one electric vehicle, is equivalent to the amount of energy that can be used by five households (four people) in a single day. 100,000 V2G EVs can secure 500MW worth of electricity that is equivalent to the amount of energy generated by one thermal power plant. 

Hyundai Motor Group’s V2G technology has a maximum charge of 11kW and a maximum discharge of 3.5kW according to U.S. standards, and according to connector specifications, V2L can have a maximum discharge of 3.5kW. On-Board Charger (OBC) has been enhanced to convert direct and alternating current into two directions, and a bidirectional power control circuit has been applied to synchronize voltage and power frequency with the grid. In addition, V2G’s exclusive charging cable includes a two-way smart meter the size of an adult’s fist, enabling stable inspection of charging and discharging.

V2G Structure

3. Power Management Using Charging Technology

Lifestyle-Customized Charging Technology

EV Connector Types

There are two major ways to charge your EV – slow (AC) and rapid (DC). Rapid chargers are usually rated around 50kW in South Korea. EV charging infrastructure developed by Hyundai Motor Group is features 350kW fast chargers. In the case of an EV with an 800V high-voltage charging system, called Hi-Charger, charging time can be drastically reduced since a 350kW fast charger can empower 80 percent of the battery capacity and twice as fast as current rapid chargers.

In Europe, IONITY, a company specializing in building high-power charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, began building 350 kW fast-charging stations. IONITY has built a total of 400 fast-charging stations on major highways across 24 European countries by 2020, and Hyundai Motor Group made a strategic investment in IONITY in 2019 to help build Europe’s high-power charging infrastructure.

Hi-Charger at Hyundai Motor Studio in Goyang, South Korea

If you have consistent commuting time and have plenty of time, you can use the slow charger. The On-Board Charger (OBC) provides the means to recharge the battery from the AC mains either at home or from outlets found in private or public charging stations. Rated at 7kW, a slow charger can charge an EV from 0% to 10% in an hour. This is usually for nighttime. 

A portable charger, a 5-pin AC connector, is to connect an EV with an ordinary 220V output socket. Rated at around 3.2kW, a portable charger is usually used for an emergency.

Hyundai Motor Group’s E-pit is ultra-fast charging infrastructure designed in anticipation of a full-blown era of electric vehicles. Customers using Hyundai Motor Group’s electric vehicles with the 800V system can charge the battery to 80% in approximately 18 minutes at an E-pit charging station, which is up to 50% faster than existing ones. This means that 5 minutes of charging can give you the power to drive approximately 100 km.

With E-pit stations, we took away the hassle of charging in multiple steps using Plug & Charge, which allows simultaneous authentication, charging, and payment, with no additional steps required. In addition, Digital Wallet at charging stations allows authentication and payment via the E-pit app without a credit card.

E-pit stations are also built with canopies, to provide a comfortable charging space in adverse weather conditions. We plan to build E-pit stations at prime spots in city centers first and expand them continuously.