Hyundai, SK Enmove developing next-gen EV refrigerants
CEO of SK Enmove Kim Wone-kee (left) and President of Hyundai Motor Company Yang Hee-won (right) are taking a commemorative photo after signing the MOU for the development of next-generation refrigerants at SK Seorin Building in Jongno, Seoul on January 25. Photo courtesy of SK Enmove

Hyundai, SK Enmove developing next-gen EV refrigerants

Hyundai Motor Group and SK Enmove have signed a deal to jointly develop next-generation refrigerants for electric vehicles that can enhance heating capacity in cold weather.

The companies said they aim to establish leadership in high-performance, climate-friendly refrigerants as emissions regulations tighten globally.

The signing ceremony, held at the SK Building in Jongno-gu, Seoul, was attended by Yang Hee-won, President of Hyundai Motor Company, and Kim Wone-kee, CEO of SK Enmove.

Under the agreement, SK Enmove will leverage more than 10 years of expertise in thermal management fluids and refrigerant R&D. Hyundai Motor will develop integrated vehicle heating and cooling systems optimised for the new refrigerants.

The next-generation vehicle refrigerant has enhanced heating abilities compared to existing products. Unlike internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, EVs do not generate waste heat from engines for heating. Therefore, they require refrigerants that can handle both air conditioning and heating.

The fluids being developed boast more than 30% better heating ability than existing options, the firms claim. This can extend EV driving range in winter through more efficient battery heating.

SK Enmove also brings production scale and an export network spanning 60 countries to supply the products globally. The refrigerants will first target electric cars but later expand to conventional internal combustion engine vehicles as well.

Both partners plan to implement recycling processes for reclaiming used refrigerants. The initiatives support their commitments to promoting sustainable mobility.