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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Hyundai Motor Group and battery heavyweight LG Chem are launching a global competition to find and finance battery and electric vehicle startups.

How it works: The "EV & Battery Challenge" aims to identify up to 10 startups to collaborate with and "develop proof-of-concept projects while leveraging the sponsors’ technical expertise, resources and laboratories."

  • They're targeting startups in areas including electric vehicle charging, power electronics, battery systems and materials, and recycling.
  • The nonprofit group New Energy Nexus, which works with clean energy entrepreneurs, will manage the competition.

Why it matters: Monday's announcement underscores how auto companies making big investments in electric vehicles know they need better tech and outside help to make it pay off in the increasingly competitive space.

Where it stands: Hyundai, which sells cars under its eponymous and Kia brands, and LG Chem did not say how much funding they plan to provide.

  • Hyundai plans to have 23 EVs in its lineup by 2025 and, per Reuters, LG Chem will be among the suppliers for the models.

Go deeper

Sep 29, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Polaris to make electric snowmobiles and off-road vehicles

In the future, Polaris will offer electric powertrains across its lineup of snowmobiles and off-road vehicles. (Pictured is a current model, which doesn't represent the future product.) Photo credit: Polaris Inc.

Polaris plans to electrify its popular lineup of off-road vehicles and snowmobiles through a new 10-year technology partnership with Zero Motorcycles.

Why it matters: People who want to enjoy the Great Outdoors don't have to worry about polluting the environment or disturbing the wilderness when they're riding on a nearly-silent, zero-emission machine.

Mike Allen, author of AM
38 mins ago - Economy & Business

America on borrowed time

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economic recovery will not be linear as the world continues to grapple with the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Why it matters: Despite being propped up by an extraordinary amount of fiscal stimulus and support from central banks, the state of the global economy remains fragile.

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.