ILJIN Group Focuses on Markets for Electric Vehicles and Fuel Cell Cars

Sep 25, 2017

ILJIN Group is focusing its business on eco-friendly cars. As it succeeds in supplying major materials for electric vehicles and hydrogen fueled cars, it has grabbed opportunities in markets for eco-friendly vehicles.
It seems that ILJIN Group, which has drawn concerns regarding absence of its future driving forces as its major businesses have slowed down a bit, has prepared an important stepping stone for the future.
◊ILJIN Materials Supplies Major Materials for Electric Vehicles
ILJIN Materials is the one within ILJIN Group that is related to electric vehicle business and is producing ‘Elecfoil’, which is an important material for secondary batteries.
Elecfoil is a thin copper foil with thickness under 10 micrometers and is made by electrolyzing copper sulfate solution. It is a material that is used for cathodic current collector of a large secondary battery such as a battery for an electric vehicle and ESS (Energy Storage System).
It is very difficult to have Elecfoil be as thin as possible and have an even surface while having properties of electricity. As a result, there are only very few businesses in the world that have technologies to manufacture Elecfoil.
After more than 20,000 trials and errors, ILJIN Materials succeeded in developing its own technology and has grown steadily along with development of South Korea’s secondary battery industries and become the number one business in global Elecfoil markets for secondary batteries based on amount of production capacity.
Reason why ILJIN Materials is drawing so much attention is because its product goes along with electric vehicle industries. More secondary batteries are needed as electric vehicle markets expand. It is also necessary to have more materials for secondary batteries as amount of supplies of secondary batteries increases. Because expansion of electric vehicle markets indicates expansion of markets for materials that make up secondary batteries, it is a great opportunity for ILJIN Materials.
ILJIN Materials is preparing for an expansion of electric vehicle markets as it works with top businesses in battery markets for electric vehicles such as Samsung SDI, BYD, LG Chemicals, and Panasonic.
In order to prepare for a sudden increase in demands, it is planning for a large-scale investment for an extension of its current facilities. With fund that it was able to secure through a recapitalization worth $177 million (200.9 billion KRW), it is planning to drastically increase its production capacity of Elecfoil from 14,000 tons (annual basis) to 24,000 tons.
◊ILJIN Composites Supplies Fuel Cell Tanks
ILJIN Composites has entered markets for fuel cell cars. It was selected as a supplier of a fuel cell for Hyundai Motor Company’s FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle) as its fuel cell is very light compared to its solidity.
ILJIN Composites, which produces high-pressure fuel tanks, developed South Korea’s first super-light weight composite fuel tank (TYPE-4) for CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) cars.
This fuel tank that increases solidity by having carbon fiber coil around a tank made up of composites is only produced by five businesses including ILJIN Composites in the world.
ILJIN Composites’ fuel tanks are seen as fuel tanks for next-generation fuel cell cars as they are light while having high solidity.
After supplying its fuel tanks to Hyundai Motor Company for its fuel cell car called Tucson ix since 2014, it is also planning to supply its fuel tanks for Hyundai’s next-generation FCEV.
It is expected that ILJIN Composites, which has production facilities in Wanju exclusively for Hyundai Motor Company, will begin to supply fuel tanks during second half of this year. Increase in ILJIN Composites’ performance is expected as Hyundai Motor Company announced that it will be releasing its new FCEV early 2018. ILJIN Composites made its first surplus since it was established last year.
As eco-friendly car markets are dividing into EV (Electric Vehicle) and fuel cell car, ILJIN Group is expecting huge benefits from vitalization of eco-friendly car markets.
“When a generation of eco-friendly cars such as EV and fuel cell car are pushed forward, technologies from ILJIN Materials and ILJIN Composites will draw much more attention from markets.”
Staff Reporter Yun, Keonil | benyun@etnews.com

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