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Hyundai Chair Sets Big EV Goals for 2021

In a message sent globally to all employees, Hyundai Motor Group’s chairman outlines bold goals, including more dominance in the electric vehicle market.

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Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Euisun Chung delivered a global message to his employees invoking the usual corporate pablum: customer-first philosophy, quality-innovation drive and direction for elevating its corporate culture. Dig into his remarks, though, and there are signs Hyundai has big goals for its electric vehicles.

Chung, who oversees both Hyundai and Kia, said in his message, “With the launch of new vehicles based on the recently released electric vehicle platform, the E-GMP (Electric-Global Modular Platform), we plan to provide attractive eco-friendly mobility options that aptly reflect customers’ diverse tastes and needs at more reasonable prices.”

Hyundai Prophecy Concept

The last four words of that statement are significant: at more reasonable prices. If Hyundai accomplishes that, it could own the global electric vehicle market. How so? Markets like India and China demand cheaper vehicles. Delivering cheaper electric vehicles to those markets gives Hyundai a huge step up toward its goal of selling 1 million EVs worldwide by 2025.

The U.S. market needs an affordable electric vehicle, too. The Chevrolet Bolt is a good EV but it still has a starting price north of $36,000. America needs an EV with an MSRP in the $25,000 to $28,000 range for true success. The Ioniq gets close at $33,000 but a $28,000 EV with a $7,500 tax credit should be a home run for the brand and start to appeal to buyers who are more practical than aspirational. Tesla buyers, frankly, are aspirational with their deep pockets.

Hyundai EV EGMP platform

The secret ingredient to the cost initiative has to be the E-GMP. It provides various advantages compared to the group’s existing platforms, which have each been engineered predominantly to accommodate internal combustion engines.

This dedicated platform makes it more cost effective for Hyundai to launch its 10-vehicle EV lineup by 2022. Hyundai’s electric vehicle lineup includes seven SUVs and three sedans. The SUVs are Hyundai’s way forward in the U.S. electric vehicle market.

What do you think of Hyundai’s plans? Can it become a global leader in affordable electric vehicles? Comment below.

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.

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VINCENT Ryder (not verified)    January 5, 2021 - 6:25PM

I have been saying for about one year now that Hyundai and Volkswagen probably have the best chance to try to be second place behind Tesla in the EV market over the next 5 to 6 years but it will require a very tough decisions and investments. The next thing Shanda needs to do is to begin phasing out their internal combustion engine vehicles. This we can only do if they provide viable replacements with electric vehicles.

DeanMcManis (not verified)    January 5, 2021 - 7:35PM

Hyundai is a HUGE automaker, and they are really taking positive steps to build a line of competitive EVs. Like VW, and GM, Hyundai realizes that they need to build out a strong support structure for EVs within the (largely gas powered) vehicle manufacturer and dealership network. They created a separate Iconiq EV brand, and they created a dedicated, modular E-GMP chassis, like GM's Ultium, and VW's MEB platform. The next step is actually releasing new EV models, and seeing how their specs and prices line up with the competition. And the big point that most people miss about EVs is that their real competition, is not just other EVs, but actually competing against gas powered vehicles that control 95% of today's automotive market. I want to see them build the Prophecy EV concept as a real car. It looks to me like a cross between a 911 out back, and a Mitsubishi Eclipse in front. Which works visually.