Two Asian automakers. Two different visions.
Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda is one of the few remaining auto industry holdouts regarding wide-scale fully electric vehicles. General Motors, Volvo, and Ford of Europe, to name a few examples, have all committed to pure EV futures. Toyota (and Lexus) has been moving at its own pace with new models like the bZ4X and last week's reveal of 16 upcoming EVs. Toyoda, also an experienced race car driver, has gone on record more than once expressing his doubts about an all-EV future. His counterpart at Hyundai Motor Group, Jaehoon Chang, however, is taking a very different approach.
Speaking to Automotive News, Chang acknowledged his company's EV transition plans.
"We will go very aggressively on electrification," he said. "As fast as possible." According to his own estimates, he sees Hyundai and Genesis global EV sales reaching 220,000 vehicles next year, a healthy increase from 2021's 140,000. The South Korean automaker's long-term goal is to sell 1.7 million EVs in 2026, with a combined Hyundai-Kia-Genesis effort. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 are just hitting showroom floors now and Genesis recently unveiled the Electrified GV70. The GV60, based on the same E-GMP platform as the Ioniq 5 and EV6, is due next year.
Hyundai wasn't always so bullish on EVs. It spent the last few years investing heavily in battery, electric motor, and general EV R&D. The end result is that dedicated EV E-GMP architecture that'll underpin a wide range of models from various segments.
Another EV-only platform is in the works though we don't know when it'll be ready to go. "This is to explain our confidence in how we can build up those numbers with a single platform. We are not simply looking at only one platform," Chang added. He concluded the US will be a major EV market in the coming years. By around 2030, Hyundai hopes at least half of its US sales will come from EVs. Last May, Hyundai announced a $7.4 billion investment in the US to increase EV production, reconfigure plants, and expand its urban air mobility plans.
Meanwhile, Toyota's more cautious EV plans could still ultimately be the right approach. There are so many factors involved and the situation on the ground might change.