Hon Hai, Singapore firm to partner on EV battery development

07/14/2021 04:43 PM
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Hon Hai
Hon Hai's headquarters in New Taipei. CNA file photo

Taipei, July 14 (CNA) Manufacturing giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. will team up with SES Holdings Pte, a hybrid lithium- metal rechargeable battery supplier based in Singapore, to develop the next generation of batteries for electric vehicles.

To forge the partnership, Taiwan-based Hon Hai, known as Foxconn internationally, said it will participate in a private placement to be launched after the merger of SES and Ivanhoe Capital Acquisition Corp.

The combined company, which will continue to be called SES, will be worth US$3.6 billion, and it will launch a private investment in public equity (PIPE) deal worth US$200 million to set up a strategic partnership with a group of investors.

In addition to Hon Hai, the PIPE partnership will also include Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Corp., and LG Technology Venture of South Korea, China's Geely Holding Group. and SIAC Motor Corp., U.S.-based General Motors, Fidelity Investments Canada ULC (certain funds), and mutual fund management firm Franklin Templeton.

Hon Hai did not disclose any financial conditions related to its investment in SES and its stake in the combined company, which will list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company said it will disclose information about the progress of the investment in SES whenever information is available.

Through the partnership with SES, Hon Hai intends to upgrade its technology to develop next-generation EV batteries, the company said.

Sources close to the deal told CNA that Hon Hai will take advantage of the investment in SES to develop high-performance hybrid lithium-metal batteries, and explore opportunities to work with car developers to unveil long haul EV models in the future.

The EV battery investment is part of Hon Hai's "3 plus 3" initiative to diversify its contract manufacturing business into hardware and software integration.

One of the "3" is the development of electric vehicles and building an EV supply chain. EVs have been placed at the top of Hon Hai's business agenda in 2021, according to chairman Liu Young-way (劉揚偉).

In March, Liu said Hon Hai had invested in two kinds of EV batteries: solid state batteries and lithium iron phosphate (LPF) batteries. He expected the company to develop a prototype solid state battery later this year and to start commercial production in 2021.

In June, Hon Hai announced it signed a memorandum of understanding with electric scooter maker Gogoro Inc. on a global battery swap system for e-motorbike use, paving the way for it to extend its EV efforts from four-wheeled to two-wheeled vehicles and from battery production to battery exchange systems.

(By Chung Jung-feng and Frances Huang)

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