Hyundai will be developing its first dedicated electric vehicle architecture, with the aim being to keep up with the rapidly growing sector. The new dedicated architecture will be used as the basis of multiple, long-range offerings — including an all-electric SUV — according to the company.
Notably, though, Hyundai will still be releasing several compact SUVs (through affiliate Kia, as well as through its own brand) based on existing platforms next year, according to the head of the company’s electric car operations, Lee Ki-sang.
The offerings in question will apparently feature ranges of over 186 miles per full charge (that’s 300 kilometers). More importantly, the models will apparently be priced “more competitively” than those of other companies.
Steve Hanley at sister site Gas2 provides more:
“The companies currently share a chassis for the Hyundai Ioniq and the Kia Niro, both of which come in either a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or battery electric configuration.
“That gives Hyundai and Kia the ability to adjust production to meet market demands, but there is no substitute when building an all-electric car for having a chassis designed specifically for that purpose. Batteries are heavy and must be mounted as low as possible in the chassis to prevent all that weight from upsetting the ride and handling of the car. Tesla pioneered the ‘skateboard’ approach with the Model S, and that model is now the standard of the industry.”
Lee noted: “The electric-vehicle platform will require high up-front investments, but we are doing this to prepare for the future.”
“The separate platform may incur losses initially, but Hyundai will be left behind the market if they don’t offer long-distance models, like 300 km, 500 km and 600 km,” said Ko Tae-bong, an analyst at Hi Investment & Securities.
He noted that the company expects electric vehicles to comprise around 10% of total global vehicle sales by 2025, with the strongest growth being in China. Interestingly, he also revealed that he doesn’t expect hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to take off anytime before 2025 but that he thought the tech has long-term potential.