The Korea Herald


Hyundai goes all in for top-tier EV leadership

Carmaker vows to make investment worth over 109 trillion won in 10 years, including 35.8 trillion won into electrification

By Byun Hye-jin

Published : June 20, 2023 - 18:21

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Hyundai Motor Group CEO Chang Jae-hoon speaks during the CEO Investor Day 2023 at Conrad Seoul in Yeouido, Seoul. (Hyundai Motor group) Hyundai Motor Group CEO Chang Jae-hoon speaks during the CEO Investor Day 2023 at Conrad Seoul in Yeouido, Seoul. (Hyundai Motor group)

Hyundai Motor Group said Tuesday it aims to boost its annual sales of electric vehicles in global markets sixfold to 2 million units by 2030 under its revamped electrification strategy.

Under its 10-year financial plan worth 109.4 trillion won ($85.1 billion), it plans to inject 35.8 trillion won into electrification. On average, 3.6 trillion won will be invested in EVs and batteries annually, which is higher than last year’s commitment of 2.2 trillion won per year. The operating profit rate of the EV business is targeted at more than 10 percent by 2030.

“In the fierce competition between legacy car manufacturers and EV makers (like Tesla) to become the front-runner in the burgeoning EV market, Hyundai will gain top-tier leadership, learning from its history of innovative DNA,” said Hyundai Motor Group CEO Chang Jae-hoon during the CEO Investor Day 2023 at a hotel in Seoul.

The carmaker vowed to sell 330,000 units and 940,000 units of Hyundai, its premium brand Genesis and smaller affiliate Kia cars by this year and 2026, respectively. The sales target was increased from last year’s announcement, which set 230,000 units and 810,000 units for 2023 and 2026.

If the sales goals are met, the world’s third-largest auto manufacturer is expected to hold 53 percent market share in the three key markets – the US, Europe and Korea -- by 2030.

By region, it looks to sell 660,000 EVs in the US to take up 53 percent of its total sales in the citied period. EV sales targets in Europe and Korea are 510,000 units and 240,000 units, which will account for 71 percent and 37 percent, respectively.

The electrification plan, called “Hyundai Motor Way,” consists of three prongs: introducing a next-generation platform for EVs; strengthening EV production capacity; and developing its own EV batteries.

Following its first EV platform E-GMP, Chang said Hyundai will develop a second-generation EV platform by 2025. It will be used on 13 new electric car models from Hyundai, Genesis and Kia by 2030. The CEO underscored that it could run on a wide range of car lineups from small and large-sized cars to pickup trucks, compared to E-GMP mostly for mid-sized SUVs.

The new EV platform, in particular, will adopt Integrated Modular Architecture, which standardizes car modules and parts among Hyundai’s car lineups. It allows for a huge cost-cutting manufacturing process because over 80 common modules can be used across different segments, Chang said. In the current system, auto parts can only be shared among vehicles that run on the same platform.

Under the strategy, Hyundai has also pledged to expand EV production capacity by building electric car manufacturing plants as well as adding EV production lines in the existing gas-powered car plants.

Chang boasted that the advantage of legacy carmaker is manufacturing both combustion engine and electric cars at the same plant and adjusting the production volume depending on market demand. In a month, Hyundai can set up a production line for EVs with 50 billion-100 billion won investment, he said.

Its car manufacturing plants in the US, Czech Republic and India and two plants in the city of Ulsan and Asan in Korea are adopting the mixed production system. Plants exclusively dedicated to manufacturing EVs are being built in Georgia, US and Ulsan, under the goal to start production by 2024 and 2025, respectively.

Based on a 9.5 trillion won investment from its 10-year financial plan, Hyundai aims to develop its own EV batteries and advance its battery technology.

“The new hybrid EV model slated for debut this year will be installed with our own battery,” said Kim Chang-hwan, senior vice president and head of the battery development center at Hyundai Motor Group.

The first Hyundai-made battery is the product of a business tie-up with South Korean battery maker SK On in 2021. Kim stressed that Hyundai has certified battery materials, designed the battery and tested and enhanced its performance.

By 2025, the cost-effective lithium iron phosphate, or LFP battery, which will be jointly developed by a battery company, is expected to be installed in Hyundai's EVs.

Stressing that Hyundai will join forces with battery makers and academic institutions, Kim said the company is planning to open a joint research center at Seoul National University. For research and development of lithium-ion and next-generation all solid-state batteries, it will work with the US-based firms Solid Energy System and Solid Power, respectively.

It also plans to open a new research center in Uiwang, Gyeonggi Province, for lithium-ion, all solid-state batteries and research centers for robotics and advanced air mobility by next year. Building a small-scale pilot production line is under consideration to improve battery performance.

Highlighting the importance of the future mobility business, the carmaker also vowed to work on hydrogen-powered cars, software defined vehicles, robotics and advanced air mobility.

As for restructuring the global battery supply chain driven by recent protectionist measures taken by the US and Europe, it plans to expand joint ventures within both regions. By 2025, it will receive more than 20 percent of its batteries from two joint plants -- one in the US and one in Indonesia. It plans to set up additional joint ventures in Europe as well.