Hyundai, the third largest automaker in the world by volume, has so far been too entrenched in fuel cell hydrogen cars to significantly invest in battery-powered electric vehicles. The Ioniq Electric was its first major deviation from its effort in zero-emission cars and it has so far been well-received. We have a full review coming soon.
The Korean automaker seems now ready to invest more in electric vehicles. An executive confirmed that they are working a new all-electric platform that will enable several long-range models in different segments.
Lee Ki-sang, a senior vice president who is responsible for zero-emission vehicle operations at both Hyundai and Kia (Hyundai owns a third of Kia), confirmed the new platform when talking to Reuters ahead of Korea’s auto show:
“The electric-vehicle platform will require high up-front investments but we are doing this to prepare for the future,”
The executive says that he still sees potentials for fuel cell hydrogen vehicles, but he doesn’t think it will take off until 2025. On the other hand, he sees electric vehicles representing 10% of Hyundai’s sales by 2025.
It’s in line with previous comments from company officials saying: “we are making electric plug-ins until hydrogen fuel cell vehicles take hold”.
Things are likely to change between now and 2025. As long as Hyundai is still moving forward with EVs in the meantime, they shouldn’t have a problem, but it’s a different matter if they are only planning to convert 10% of their production capability to electric vehicles over the same period. Some competitor are planning twice the capacity.
The new platform is expected to support a battery pack with a capacity of at least 64 kWh. The first vehicle to use it is expected to be a SUV – a prototype was spotted earlier this year.
Today, Hyundai confirmed that they will follow with an all-electric vehicle under their luxury brand, Genesis. It will hit the market in 2021, according to the company.