Hyundai confirmed Wednesday plans to have 10 “Eco Vehicles” in production by 2022, a broad term covering everything from conventional hybrids to all-electric vehicles, as well as hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.
And that automaker plans to add even more electrified products by mid-decade, including at least one more all-electric model and new, high-performance variants that are likely to be marketed through its new N sub-brand.
All told, parent Hyundai Motor Group aims to be selling 1 million eco vehicles by 2025 through its various brands, such as the familiar Hyundai, Kia and Genesis, as well as the new Ioniq electric brand set to launch by 2022, according to Jose Munoz, HMG’s vice chairman and CEO of Hyundai Motor North America.
“We’re not only developing the vehicles our customers need now, we’re also envisioning smart mobility solutions for pressing environmental and transportation needs of the future,” Olabisi Boyle, vice president of Product Planning and Mobility Strategy, HMNA, said in a statement on Wednesday. “Ultimately, this full spectrum of new technologies will promote a planet-friendly, zero-emission ecosystem as part of our ‘Progress for Humanity’ global vision.”
During a series of meetings, both on and off the record, Hyundai officials this week told TheDetroitBureau.com that the automaker has been accelerating its electrification plans. It isn’t alone. General Motors this week said it would hire 3,000 new engineers in order to speed up its push to bring at least 20 all-electric models to market by 2023.
Currently, 10 Hyundai products are in late-stage development or already on the market. The list confirmed Wednesday include:
- Four conventional hybrids, versions of the Elantra and Sonata sedans, and Tucson and Santa Fe SUVs;
- Two plug-in hybrids using the Tucson and Santa Fe platforms;
- Three all-electric models, including the battery version of the small Kona SUV, as well as two new models to be launched under the new Ioniq sub-brand;
- One fuel-cell vehicle, the Nexo SUV, launched two years ago.
At least one other all-electric model is under development for the new Ioniq brand, though it won’t reach market until closer to mid-decade. The initial products will be the Ioniq 5, a Tesla Model Y competitor, and the Ioniq 6, targeting the Model 3. The Ioniq 7 will be a larger crossover, and it is expected to introduce an all-new design language for the startup brand.
Initially, Hyundai’s electrification plans have focused on delivering high-mileage options – the Elantra Hybrid, for example, offering as much as 54 mpg combined. But the automaker is taking a tip from competitors such as Toyota and Honda, both of which have launched plug-ins designed as much to improve performance as they are to boost mileage.
Officials involved in product development told TheDetroitBureau.com that the program is still at an early stage and the precise approach Hyundai will take as not been firmed up. Such products will likely come in conventional or plug-in hybrid form, though future Hyundai BEVs also will put an emphasis on performance, taking advantage of the instant torque offered by electric motors.
One benefit is that a hybrid system allows engineers to rely on the torque of its electric drive for low-speed launch, optimizing the gasoline engine side of the package to deliver maximum horsepower at higher RPMs.
The Hyundai and Ioniq brands aren’t the only ones set to electrify. Luxury brand Genesis is finalizing development of its first all-electric model which will become its third SUV. Meanwhile, Kia has laid out aggressive plans of its own, including various forms of battery assist. It also has confirmed that it is readying a production version of the Imagine EV concept first shown at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Munoz noted in a webinar this week to the Automotive Press Association, that Hyundai plans to sell 1 million electric vehicles annually, starting in 2025, around the world. Those sales include Hyundai, Genesis and Kia.