Hyundai, Kia, and Samsung announced a partnership Thursday to expand connectivity between vehicles and in-home devices—with potential benefits for EV owners.
The aim is to allow Hyundai and Kia owners to remotely control appliances via their cars' infotainment systems, and also use smart speakers and televisions or smartphone apps to control certain vehicle functions from their homes, according to Hyundai.
This will be made possible by integration of Hyundai and Kia's connected car services with Samsung's "SmartThings" digital platform, the release said. Hyundai and Kia will develop "stable service-providing infotainment systems" for this purpose, adding features via over-the-air (OTA) update. But Hyundai also said some of these features may also be made available to existing vehicles via OTA updates or with new software added via USB.
One feature planned specifically for EV owners is energy management, allowing owners to "check the energy use of their home and vehicle and adjust the optimal charging times," according to Hyundai. This would provide a level of integration Hyundai doesn't currently have. For now, it has Hyundai Home, which serves as an aggregation tool helping EV buyers set up charging, solar, and energy storage.
2024 Kia EV9
Hyundai has said that its E-GMP platform for EVs supports bidirectional charging, but the company's EVs up until now haven't had the feature enabled. The Kia EV9 is the first E-GMP model to offer bidirectional charging in a form Americans can use—including vehicle-to-home (V2H) and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities, with Wallbox.
In addition to fulfilling the potential of E-GMP, this could finally realize Hyundai's promise that Ioniq as an EV brand would span beyond just vehicles. But with no firm timeline from Hyundai, Kia, and Samsung on when this elevated connectivity will become available, it's unclear when that will happen.