Hyundai to ramp up electric program - report

Hyundai is preparing an electric vehicle (EV) onslaught for the next decade, with a senior executive admitting the company was late to the party.
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Speaking to European media, Lee Ki-sang, senior vice-president for Hyundai, said the brand is "late by around three years" to electric vehicles.

"Hyundai should have been a first mover of EVs, but it is still staying as a fast follower."

When it says 'fast follower', the company really means it. According to a report in the Korea Herald, the company will roll out 38 'green vehicles' – hydrogen fuel-cell and battery electric – by 2025.

“Not a single ingredient is going in a positive direction in terms of pricing,” Ki-sang said, referencing the two-pronged approach to green vehicles. "So far battery prices have been declining at a rapid pace, but the pace will moderate significantly or maintain the status quo by 2020."

An all-electric Kona is on the way from Hyundai next year, while a hydrogen fuel-cell SUV with around 600km of driving range will also be launched.

Closer to home, Hyundai Australia has expressed strong interest in electric vehicles.

Bill Thomas, local communications head for Hyundai, said "chances are good" for cars like the Kona EV to come Down Under, while the Ioniq is coming next year in hybrid and potentially electric forms.

"The Chief Executive Officer of Hyundai Motor Europe, Thomas Schmid, was quoted by some media as saying an electric version of the Kona will be unveiled soon, but we aren’t in a position to discuss further information at this stage,” Thomas said.

“However, we can certainly see the potential for such a smart-looking and practical zero-emissions SUV, were we to sell it. We would expect the vehicle to be both powerful and possess a long range, and we can imagine it fitting urban customers’ lifestyles very well.”