Internal-combustion vehicles made by Hyundai-Kia represented 8.9% of the global market in the first quarter of 2020. But the EVs it sells were 9.9% of the global electric-vehicle market. In other words, Hyundai could be the first legacy automaker that is now more competitive on EVs than with its gas- and diesel-powered cars.

Business Korea reported that in Q1 2020 Hyundai and Kia sold 28,796 electric vehicles, securing a 9.9% share. You could argue that the COVID-19 pandemic and strict CO2 standards in Europe combined to stall the overall auto market, but didn’t affect EV sales as strongly. 

Regardless, it shows that the EV tipping point for Hyundai and its Kia brand could be closer than most people realize.

From 2016 until now, the global EV market grew by 4.28 times. But Hyundai-Kia’s EV sales ballooned by 20-fold. You might not see Hyundai as a major player for electric cars, at least in the US. But in the past five or so years, it went from ranking 15th in global EV sales to fourth place among automakers (behind Tesla, Nissan-Renault, and the Volkswagen Group).

This appears to be only the beginning for Hyundai. Hyundai executive vice chairman Euisun Chung kicked off 2020 on Jan. 2 by reiterating that it will spend more than $87 billion to produce 23 EVs by 2025. That includes 11 new dedicated electric vehicles.

These vehicles will begin arriving as China, Germany, France, and the UK are all announcing more significant EV incentives.

Business Korea reports:

Hyundai Motor plans to launch its first next-generation electric vehicle (Project Name: NE) next year. The model will be based on e-GMP, an EV-only platform. The EV-only platform can increase battery spaces and mileage compared to current internal combustion engine-based platforms. In the long run, the cost structure will also be streamlined to ensure the quality and price competitiveness of vehicles. 

Hyundai and Kia believe that they can catch up with Tesla with various EV models.

Hyundai Prophecy EV concept

Hyundai Prophecy EV concept

The first model built on the E-GMP platform was expected to be revealed this month as a 2021 long-range SUV with up to 300 miles of range. But it was delayed due to the pandemic. That new model could be badged as a Genesis. 

In March, Hyundai held a digital reveal of its Prophecy EV concept that is also reportedly moving into production. The Prophecy is a sporty electric sedan that borrows design elements from previous EV Concepts: the Hyundai 45 and Kia Imagine. The combination of a stylish electric sedan and a practical SUV EV would be a great start to its new wave of electric vehicles.

Electrek’s Take

Is the Hyundai Group’s higher market share for EVs versus ICEs a temporary blip due to the pandemic? Who knows? Perhaps the numbers will flip back and forth a couple of times. 

But the trend toward EVs is certain. Seeing Hyundai earn more market share for EVs than its conventional vehicles for the first time should be taken seriously by other automakers that are dragging their heels.

It sends a loud message: Either prepare now for a bigger piece of the growing EV market or cling to existing internal-combustion sales that will continue to dwindle.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.

You’re reading Electrek— experts who break news about Tesla, electric vehicles, and green energy, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow Electrek on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest reviews.

About the Author