Hyundai has announced that it will place EVs at the center of its product strategy. Its plans include 8 battery EVs and 3 fuel cell vehicles. The company is developing its first dedicated EV platform, which will allow it to produce multiple models with longer ranges.
The South Korean automaker is planning to launch an electric sedan with a range of 310 miles under its high-end Genesis brand in 2021. It will also introduce an electric version of its Kona small SUV with a range of 240 miles in the first half of next year.
“We’re strengthening our eco-friendly car strategy, centering on electric vehicles,” Executive VP Lee Kwang-guk told a news conference, calling the technology mainstream and realistic.
Sister company Kia said it will add 3 plug-in vehicles to its stable.
Hyundai recently unveiled a near-production version of its new fuel cell SUV, which will be launched in Korea early next year, followed by US and European markets.
A fuel cell electric bus is to be unveiled late this year, and a fuel cell sedan is also planned.
Hyundai launched the Tucson Fuel Cell in 2013, and has sold about 862 since its 2013 launch, while Toyota has sold some 3,700 Mirai fuel cell vehicles since its 2014 launch.
Analysts noted that gaining traction with fuel cells will be “a long hard slog,” partly due to a lack of charging infrastructure. Korea has 10 fuel cell charging stations, and Japan has 100, according to Hyundai.
“Hyundai will achieve economies of scale for fuel cell cars by 2035 at the earliest,” said Lee Hang-koo, a Senior Research Fellow at the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade. “Before that, Hyundai has no choice but to rely on battery cars.”