Hyundai leaves the present and past in the dust to focus exclusively on the futureby Robert Moore, on LISTEN 03:16
With so many automakers starting to focus on electrification, it seems like we’re constantly talking about the future and how the industry will evolve. Just recently, we learned that Porsche is about to reveal a Boxster EV Concept and Mercedes is already embacing electrification hard with the EQ lineup and more recently announcing that the C-Class would carry around a battery and a four-cylinder engine, including in the range-topping AMG C63. It’s not just premium automakers, either, as Toyota is working heavily on its investment in hydrogen technology – like this Hydrogen-powered Corolla race car – and now it looks like Hyundai is killing any and all R&D of internal combustion engines, sealing the fate of the company’s future. Here’s what it really means.
Hyundai’s Shift To EVs Isn’t Happening Overnight, But It Is Coming Quick
The internal combustion engine has been a mainstay in our four-wheeled workhorses for more than 120 years, but its days are numbered, and today Hyundai is the one reminding us of that. Two Hyundai insiders who were speaking with Reuters have confirmed that Hyundai has decided to cut its fuel-powered lineup in half and is ceasing all development of internal combustion engines to focus on electrification.
“It is an important business move, which first and foremost allows the release of R&D resources to focus on the rest: electric motors, batteries, and fuel cells.”
There’s no specific timeline for when this plan is expected to happen, at least not that we know of for now, but if Hyundai is serious about this move, it’s gas-drinking (and diesel-drinking) lineup could shrink considerably in the next few years as battery- and hydrogen-powered vehicles move it to fill the gaps. And, if you think about it, the plan is already kind of in motion. The company has already revealed the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and that will be followed by the Ioniq 6 in 2022 and the Ioniq 7 three-row SUV sometime in 2024. The Ioniq 6, by the way, could be a lot like the Kia EV6 that recently debuted while the Electrified Genesis G80 could be a preview of another midsize electric car.
According to Reuters, Hyundai has explained via e-mail that it is “accelerating adoption of eco-friendly vehicles such as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and battery EVs” with a focus on the United States, Europe, and China first. By 2040, the brand expects to be 100-percent electric, which means the next 15+ years are going to be very interesting.
|Power||225-kW (Front and Rear combined)||160- kW Rear|
|Torque||605 Nm (Front and Rear combined)||350- Nm Rear|
|0-100 km/h||5.2 seconds||7.4 seconds|
Hyundai Could Turn Into Something Bigger
Hyundai shifting its focus to electric- and hydrogen-powered vehicles isn’t all that surprising – it’s what all the cool brands are doing these days. But, what nobody seems to think about is that this could change the nature of the Hyundai brand altogether. Of course, the company will always focus primarily on selling basic passenger and family vehicles, but the very nature of electrification, including the concept of shared platforms and part interchangeability means that Hyundai could, if it wanted to, begin developing and selling electric performance cars. Perhaps nothing super expensive, but without the restraints of emissions regulations and the longevity of products derived from the initial research in EVs, the company could open new doors to segments. Whether it will happen or not is a completely different story, but one can certainly hope.