Source: Reuters. Hyundai Motor said on Wednesday it may procure electric vehicle batteries from Chinese companies for a planned China model after South Korean battery makers failed to make a list of approved vendors last year.The decision comes at a time of growing concern in South Korea that Beijing may be retaliating over Seoul’s decision to deploy a U.S. anti-missile system. China argues the defense system could undermine its security.
Hyundai Motor said it was now considering a Chinese battery for a plug-in hybrid version of its Sonata sedan to be sold in China. “Considering various factors in Chinese market and price competitiveness, Hyundai Motor Company is also looking at cooperation with Chinese battery suppliers,” the company said in a statement to Reuters. It declined to comment on reports that its decision was due to tension with Beijing over the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system. The current Sonata Plug-In Hybrid, sold in South Korea and the United States, uses a battery made by South Korea’s LG Chem.
Hyundai also said it now plans to launch the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid in China in 2018, a year later than previously planned, without elaborating on the reason for the delay.
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