Hyundai Motor Group has partnered with retail giant Lotte Group and investor KB Financial Group to build high-power charging infrastructure for electric cars in South Korea, with plans for up to 5,000 new charging points.
The goal is to install a total of 2,500 new HPC charging stations, each with two connections and outputs of up to 200 kW, in major cities across the country by 2025. To this end, the three partners intend to set up a joint venture called UFC ("Ultra Fast Charger").
However, UFC will not become a developer and operator itself: Via this company, "private operators of EV charging stations" - i.e. existing CPOs - are to be "recruited". UFC then wants to lease the charging points to these partners, who will then take over the operation and integrate the charging points into their roaming networks.
The charging stations are to be built primarily on Lotte Group sites, for example at department stores and shopping centres throughout the country. It is not clear how many charging stations are planned for each location - i.e. whether larger charging parks or individual stations are to be installed at as many locations as possible.
Lotte has been expanding its business beyond just retail into mobility in recent years, with subsidiary Lotte Rental joining South Korea's largest car-sharing provider Socar in March and acquiring startup 42dot, which is working on autonomous driving, in 2021, and subsidiary Lotte Data Communication acquiring Joongang Control, the country's second-largest maker of electric vehicle charging systems, in 2021.
KB Asset Management will set up a fund to support the construction of the associated infrastructure as a financial investor. Further details on the investments are not yet known.
Hyundai is also reportedly working on its own HPC network "E-Pit" in South Korea.