The Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group which aims to be the second-largest eco-friendly car in the world by 2020 will expand its line-up of pure electric cars next year and more than double production compared to this year.
According to the industry on July 18, Hyundai and Kia will release electric vehicle models of compact SUVs Kona and Niro in the first half of next year. Accordingly, Hyundai and Kia will expand their electric vehicle models to four by combining two existing electric vehicles, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric and the Kia Soul EV. Although there is the Ray EV of Kia Motors, the model is not competitive because of aging and consumers cannot buy the model without placing a special order now.
In addition, Hyundai and Kia are planning to significantly increase production of electric cars. Currently, Hyundai and Kia's electric vehicle production volume is around 20,000 units per year. Ioniq Electric cars sold by Hyundai Motors take up the majority. At the beginning of its launch, Hyundai had a capacity of producing 1,200 models a month but a surge in demand raised the figure to 1,800.
If Hyundai and Kia expand its line-up of electric vehicles such as the Kona and the Niro, their annual production of electric vehicles is expected to nearly double. They are planning to roll out 25,000 units of electric vehicles a year -- 13,000 units of the Kona electric car and 12,000 units of the Niro electric cars. Hyundai and Kia's production will increase to more than 50,000 units by adding existing production of the Ioniq Electric and the Soul EV.
Hyundai and Kia are aiming for a mid-to-long-term goal of becoming the second largest green car company in terms of sales by 2020. According to IHS, a US market research company, Hyundai sold 108,000 eco-friendly cars last year, ranking fourth, continuing from 2015, but fell short by raking 11th in electric car sales. Hyundai and Kia sold 12,292 electric vehicles last year. Considering that the sales volume of the top 10 companies excluding Renault-Nissan and Tesla, which compete for first and second place with annual sales of 70,000 units, is between 16,000 and 50,000 units, Hyundai and Kia Motors may elevate their rankings via capacity expansion. "We ranked third in sales of electric vehicles among automakers by selling more than 2 million units last year. If we launch a new electric vehicle, we will be able to take second place,” said a Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group official.
Electric vehicles have been rapidly growing in the global eco-friendly market every year. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the number of newly registered pure electric vehicles last year was 461,000, more than 140,000 units over the previous year. The number of registered electric vehicles including plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) in 2016 surpassed 2 million units. IHS expects the figure to hit 7.7 million units by 2020.