Four Bold Moves from Hyundai in Next Four Years
The exciting news about a company’s future often doesn’t come from the product designers. It comes from the C-suite and Hyundai is no exception with its four bold moves in the next four years recently highlighted at a CEO forum in South Korea.
Why should we care about this? Because a lot of these bold moves are going to trickle down into the vehicles we drive in the next six to 10 years. Look for bold changes in mobility, electric cars, fuel-cell vehicles, and UAM or urban air mobility among others.
Hyundai announced an updated roadmap for its future business Strategy 2025 at the “2020 CEO Investor Day” forum held virtually in Seoul. It’s a fiscal dog-and-pony show intended to get shareholders and investors to throw their cash to the Korean automaker.
Starting with the launch of IONIQ 5 in 2021, Hyundai plans to sell 560,000 EVs globally per year by 2025. The company expects to introduce more than 12 BEV models, including BEVs built upon E-GMP, Hyundai’s platform for dedicated EVs.
From 2030 and beyond, the company says it will gradually expand BEV offerings in key markets such as the U.S., Europe and China, eventually aiming to fully electrify its product lineup in major global markets by 2040. In less than two decades, Hyundai will no longer have internal combustion gas and diesel engines.
It will also support democratization of EVs in emerging markets such as India, Russia and Brazil with more diverse EV models. Democratization means EVs for poor people. That will be intriguing to see what develops.
Hyundai says it aims to bolster competitiveness at all stages of EV businesses throughout development, production and sales to achieve profitability comparable to that of internal combustion engines. In other words, Hyundai isn’t doing this as some throwaway “green” investment. It wants to make the big bucks from EVs.
Urban Air Mobility (UAM)
To take the lead in the UAM market, Hyundai Motor will build a family of air vehicles that covers both passenger and cargo transportation sectors.
The company plans to introduce air cargo Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) with hybrid powertrain in 2026, and launch an all-electric UAM model optimized for intra-city operations in 2028. In the 2030s, the company plans to launch regional air mobility that connects adjacent cities.
From the initial stage of development, Hyundai will design its UAM models with a focus on scalable commercial production. In addition, the company plans to develop hydrogen powertrain for aviation using Hyundai’s own fuel cell technology that can offer unrivaled efficiency and flight range.
Starting in 2022, Hyundai plans to offer models equipped with level 3 autonomous driving technology. Hyundai has been applying sensor fusion technology that integrates, and processes information collected from various sensors such as cameras and radars. The company will add more cameras and start using lidars on mass production vehicles to further improve recognition accuracy.
In addition, the company will accelerate commercialization of level 4 and 5 technologies through collaboration with partners around the globe. The establishment of Motional Inc., a joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv lnc., is part of Hyundai’s efforts for global cooperation.
Investing $21 Billion
Hyundai also announced it plans to invest $21 billion worldwide in research and development and capital expenditures for future technologies, including electrification, hydrogen fuel cells, UAM, autonomous driving, mobility service and platform, connectivity, AI and robotics.
One of those recent investments was the announcement Hyundai will acquire a controlling interest in Boston Dynamics in a deal that values the mobile robot firm at $1.1 billion. Boston Dynamics focuses on creating robots with advanced mobility, dexterity and intelligence. Its main philosophy is mobility sufficient to access both the natural and the built world requires legs.
Keith Griffin covers Hyundai and Kia at Torque News. He has been writing continuously about cars since 2002. Keith used to be a researcher/writer for US News & World Report, as well as numerous car sites, including Carfax and Car Gurus, and a contributor to The Boston Globe. Most recently, Keith was the managing editor for American Business Media. Follow Keith at @indepthauto on Twitter, on @LinkedIn and on his Indepth Auto Facebook page.