The way the Hyundai Motor Group has transformed its vehicles and its Hyundai and Kia brands over the last few years has prompted admiration in many quarters and has shown that it's not afraid to venture into segments of the market it's never had a presence in before. However, there's no getting away from the fact the one area where it does lag behind rivals is electrified vehicles, but plans are now firmly in place to rectify that.
Over the next eight years, Hyundai Motor Co. and affiliate Kia Motors Corp. are looking to bring as many as 38 "green" vehicles to market, and that includes seven completely new models by 2025. Perhaps the bigger news is that the group's Senior Vice-President, Lee Ki-sang, has said many of them will be EVs, which is a type of vehicle very underrepresented in the current lineup.
Many are sure to welcome the South Korean automaker's plans to introduce more electrified vehicles to its portfolio, but the challenge is not to be underestimated as the company is already some way behind many of its rivals who have been quicker to embrace the new electrified vehicle technologies.
According to data provided by Hyundai and Kia, in the nine months to the end of September it sold over 186,000 environmentally-friendly vehicles. However, three months ago VW announced plans to offer electric versions of all 300 models across the group's 12 brands by 2030, and even GM is already intending to offer 20 models powered purely by batteries by as soon as 2020.
But despite much of the industry accepting that battery power is the way forward, Hyundai Motor is still holding to the belief that hydrogen fuel-cell technology is going to have a big future, even though it's very much struggling to gain wider acceptance with consumers and other automakers.