The Hyundai Group is becoming one of the references in the world market, both in electric and non-electric vehicles. Koreans have been able to anticipate supply and manufacturing problems by opting for local or their own suppliers. It should not be forgotten that the Hyundai Group is much more than a car manufacturer. Nevertheless, the current situation of the battery industry opens the possibility for the KIA e-Niro to incorporate CATL batteries for the local market. A strategy that seems to be based on different reasoning.
Koreans have always been very particular in their way of conceiving the market. With a strong mindset, segment dominance is slowly coming. Models like the KIA Niro have achieved position itself in the list of the best-selling electric cars in the world thanks to its more than interesting value for money. Cars with very good qualities that, unlike many other models, do not raise their retail price.
KIA and Hyundai have always sought national suppliers for their electric cars. South Korea is one of the world’s largest producers of car batteries. Within its borders are the headquarters of LG Energy Solution, SK Innovatio and Samsung SDI. Three giants that have always tried to stand up to CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd), which for the fifth consecutive year has established itself as the largest automotive battery company.
The Chinese are able to offer a competitiveness that is difficult to match both in terms of price and manufacturing volume. The industry is going through a delicate moment. It’s getting harder and harder to meet deadlines and budgets with skyrocketing material prices. Almost all brands have raised the price of their cars, Tesla and Ford among them, but KIA is resisting this, knowing that increasing prices can make them lose that great commercial appeal.
The information has been collected by the local media Hankook Ilbo. According to an anonymous source related to KIA, he has assured the incorporation of CATL as a battery supplier for the KIA Niro EV destined for South Korea. The information suggests that cost competitiveness has been decisive in reaching the agreement. At the moment neither CATL nor KIA have ruled on the matter, although as the saying goes: when the river sounds, water carries.
The new generation KIA e-Niro will be one of the best-selling electric cars in the world. Use a lithium-ion battery with a gross capacity of 64.8 kWh that feeds a single front motor with 204 horsepower. KIA officially announces a autonomy of 463 kilometers in WLTP cycle. In Spain, the sale prices have already been announced, from 24,200 euros for the hybrid model, 26,400 euros for the plug-in hybrid and 27,400 euros for 100% electric.