Hyundai has been ahead when it comes to fuel cell vehicles. But they lost the race to Toyota in terms of sales because of poorly developed infrastructure at home and high sticker price overseas.
According to Fortune, the dedicated platform for electric vehicles will not be completed soon. However, Hyundai Motor in collaboration with Kia Motors plans to roll out small electric sport utility vehicles that are based on an existing platform.
Lee Ki-sang, who leads the Hyundai-Kia’s green car operations, said in an interview that the subcompact or compact models will have a range of more than 300km per charge, and they are going to be more competitive than rival offerings. With a development of a dedicated architecture for electric vehicles, the automaker will be able to install a battery pack in the vehicle floor to increase the capacity, and to maximize interior and cabin space. At Hyundai-Kia’s green car research center in Yonging, Lee said that the electric vehicle platform is going to require high up-front investments, but in order to compete more vigorously in the battery electric market, they have to do this.
According to Auto News, Hyundai plans to unveil a new hydrogen-powered SUV next year with longer driving range than rival offerings from Toyota and Honda. Kim Sae-hoon said that the new model along with a new fuel cell bus will be shown early next year during the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.
Together, Hyundai and Kia expect to have around 208 eco-friendly models by 2020, including a Kia fuel cell car, and a luxury Genesis electric vehicle. The latest Sonata model will also get a plug-in hybrid trim and it will go on sale next year. The industrial restructuring and the emergence of new technologies give a great opportunity to Hyundai to take the lead back again, said Kim at Hyundai’s fuel cell R&D center in Mabuk.