Hyundai Motor Group’s Aggressive Electric And Electrified Vehicle Plan

If you had to name the number two electric vehicle seller in the U.S., after Tesla, how many of you would say “Kia”? It’s true. Despite Nissan offering the Leaf for over 10 years, and General Motors selling Bolts for more than 5, Kia now sells more EVs in the U.S. than any other automaker, except Tesla (which has been selling EVs for more than 15 years). Now roll in the rest of the Hyundai Motor Group (made up of the Genesis, Hyundai and Kia brands) and you’ve got a global automaker in an enviable position as the transition to electric vehicles heats up.

This is rather remarkable when one considers Hyundai’s first U.S. electric car was the Kona EV and Kia’s was the Niro EV, both entering the U.S. market in 2019. Both companies have since added the Ioniq 5 (Hyundai) and EV6 (Kia), two all-new, fully dedicated electric cars, each with over 300 miles of range and starting prices around $42,000 (not including the $7,500 federal tax credit).

How has the Korean-based automaker become such a powerful force in EVs in less than 3 years? The answer, as always, can be found in the product. The electric versions of the Kona and Niro were well received by U.S. consumers due to their attractive styling, comfortable ride quality, long (and realistic) range estimates, and relatively low prices. Basically, they offered the same appeal as previous Hyundai Motor Group vehicles — value.

That same approach continues with the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, both of which have already garnered praise from critics and consumers for their appealing designs, spacious interiors, user-friendly controls, confident and comfortable driving dynamics, long range, and attainable pricing. If that’s not enough electric vehicle momentum for the Hyundai Motor Group, the company’s Genesis luxury division is about to release the all-electric GV60 crossover SUV, with a starting price of $60,000 and up to 483 horsepower, making it a viable alternative to Tesla’s premium- and performance-oriented models.

These models should help Hyundai Motor Group maintain its EV sales and market share for the near term, but the transition to EVs is a marathon, not a sprint. To bolster its long-term EV plan, Hyundai just announced its first U.S-based electric vehicle and battery manufacturing plant, located in Bryan County, Georgia. The company will break ground on this plant in 2023, with vehicle and battery production starting by 2025 and annual plant capacity set at 300,000 cars. Total investment in this plant: $5.54 billion.

That number is part of Hyundai’s $16.2 billion investment in electrification between now and 2030, when the company plans to offer at least 11 electric vehicles and global EV sales of 1.87 million units. Whatever isn’t a pure EV by 2030 will be “electrified” — meaning a hybrid or plug-in hybrid — to achieve 100 percent electrification for Hyundai Motor Group by 2030. In the next few years you can expect to see more EVs under Hyundai’s Ioniq sub-brand, including a large 3-row SUV and a sleek sedan. Do those models sounds like direct Model X and Model 3 competitors? Maybe second place isn’t good enough for Hyundai Motor Group…

Yes, we’re still in the early stages of the electric vehicle transition, making it impossible to declare a “winner” at this point. But if we had to make a prediction today it would be difficult to ignore Hyundai’s current success and substantial long-term commitment in the EV space. The company has a history of setting, and then clearing, aggressive sales and market share goals. Why would Hyundai Motor Group’s EV plan be any different?

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