We all know that Hyundai is serious about electrification. They made a dedicated electric platform, created a full EV brand called Ioniq, and even have 23 fully-electric models planned across its entire group for the next four years. But if anyone thought that they’ll be ditching ICE completely anytime soon, we would’ve said that they were having a laugh.
But that’s exactly what a new report by Reuters is claiming. Citing anonymous sources from Korea, the publication says that Hyundai has stopped developing new internal combustion engines, with the carmaker’s top management already approved a plan in March to cut the number of ICE models by half.
The move is designed to free up resources to focus Hyundai’s research and development efforts into “electric motors, batteries, [and] fuel cells”. While the sources did not provide a timeline of when this will happen, the sources allege that the group will finalise its strategy to switch to all fully-electric models within the next six months.
When contacted by the publication, Hyundai did not offer any comments surrounding its plans for ICE models, but said that it will be gradually expanding BEV offerings in key markets such as US, Europe, and China. Hyundai also stated that it was “accelerating adoption of eco-friendly vehicles such as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and battery EVs.”
While not confirmed just yet, the plan has seemingly already been in effect in several parts of the world. Hyundai announced in April that it would cut the number of its ICE models in China from 21 to just 14 by 2025, while launching new electric models every year starting from 2022.
Previously, Hyundai Motor Group – which includes Hyundai, Kia, Ioniq, and Genesis – announced its plans to sell 1 million BEVs annually by 2025, representing a 10% share in the global EV market. The company also aims to become a fully-EV carmaker by 2040.
The move, while massive, is not completely unexpected from Hyundai. Other carmakers such as Stellantis (previously PSA) and VW Group, have already taken the plunge in committing its investments into electrification, pausing any R&D into developing new ICE engines.
It’s safe to say that we can expect more similar announcements from various carmakers in the years to come, especially as the automotive industry as a whole is moving towards the era of electricity.