Hyundai Motor Group, which comprises both Hyundai and Kia, believes that launching a blitz of 26 green models through 2020 could place the Korean automaker among the leaders in the segment. Only Toyota would be larger in the electrified vehicle market, if Hyundai Motor’s plan works, Automotive News reports.
The 26 models run the gamut of the green car field, and they include at least 12 hybrids, six PHEVs, two EVs, and two hydrogen fuel cells, according to Automotive News. If customers latch onto them, Hyundai and Kia could move as many as 300,000 electrified vehicles a year by 2020 versus about 43,000 in 2015. Kia is responsible for at least 11 of these vehicles like the upcoming Niro crossover. Meanwhile, Hyundai wants the upcoming Ioniq (above) to challenge the Toyota Prius, and the Korean company has hybrid, PHEV, and EV versions on the way.
To save money on the development of so many electrified vehicles, Hyundai Motor uses shared components. “For example, all our electric motors have the same diameter,” Lee Ki-Sang, Hyundai’s green powertrain boss, told Automotive News. “The power output is different, but we can just adjust the width of the core winding. Or for the motor controller, we standardized to use the same printed circuit boards.”
Trying to go from a relatively small player to a market leader is an audacious move, but it’s especially risky right now. Gas prices are the cheapest in 12 years in the US, and green car sales are down in the US and in Europe. Toyota even predicts the inexpensive fuel could cut into Prius sales, and it’s far more established than Hyundai’s models. The South Korean company could have an even tougher time because these efficient vehicles still lose money for now. “Our target is before 2020, we would like to make profits on these eco-friendly vehicles,” Lee told Automotive News.