EVS force Hyundai to move focus from fuel cells

For many years, Hyundai has been proponening a hydrogen fuel cells. Considering it just presented a new hydrogen-powered SUV, it’s clearly still interested in the technology. But the popularity of battery electric cars has forced the Korean producer to change the appearance at the future of cars.

Hyundai says EVs are now central to its product strategy

They’re planning to offer an electric version of the Kona crossover at the bgining of 2018. That vehicle is expected to have a range of about 242 miles. Hyundai will also launch a 310-mile premium EV under its Genesis brand in 2021. It’s also developing a dedicated EV platform that will allow it to build vehicles with significantly longer ranges.

By 2020, Hyundai plans to offer eight electrified vehicles and two hydrogen-powered vehicles. Just three years ago in 2014, the Korean automaker had only planned to offer two electrified vehicles. “We’re strengthening our eco-friendly car strategy, centering on electric vehicles,” Executive Vice President Lee Kwang-guk told reporters at a press conference.

 According to Lee Hang-koo, a senior researcher at the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade, this is because it will still be a while before fuel cell technology goes mainstream. “Hyundai will achieve economies of scale for fuel cell cars by 2035 at the earliest,” he told Reuters. “Before that, Hyundai has no choice but to rely on battery cars.”

Currently, Hyundai sells the all-electric Ioniq alongside the more-popular hybrid version. But with only 124 miles of range, it’s more a Nissan Leaf competitor than a Tesla-killer.

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