Hyundai Motor Group's electric vehicle (EV) sales in the first quarter grew by 159 percent over the same period last year, the group announced on April 14.
The group’s domestic and overseas sales of 18 eco-friendly vehicles, including hybrid (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), electric vehicle (EV) and hydrogen electric vehicle (FCEV), totaled 75,242 in the first quarter, up 20.2 percent from the same period a year ago. Domestic sales increased by 17.2 percent to 25,440, while overseas sales rose by 21.3 percent to 54,702.
Electric car sales in the first quarter reached 21,148, up 159 percent from 8,152 in the same period last year, showing the highest growth rate. Domestic EV sales recorded 4,986 in the first quarter, up 53.9 percent from the same period last year. In the overseas market, EV sales hit 16,162 units, more than three times higher than 4,905 units sold in the same period last year. The sharp growth was led by new electric SUV models, such as the KONA Electric and the NIRO EV.
As a result, EVs accounted for 28.1 percent of the group’s sales of eco-friendly cars in the first quarter, up by two times from 13.0 percent in the first quarter of last year. EV sales in March stood at 3,871 units in Korea and 5,444 units in overseas markets.
The group’s eco-friendly cars were mostly hybrids until 2014 when it began to sell EVs. The percentage of hybrids dropped to 82.1 percent in 2015 as EVs accounted for 15.7 percent. In 2016 to 2017, the percentage of EVs dropped to 10 percent due to the popularity of plug-in hybrid models.
However, EV sales went up again to 21.1% in 2018 due to popularity of newly launched models, the KONA and the NIRO. EVs accounted for 28.1 percent of sales in the first quarter of this year. The figure is expected to rise to the 30 percent range on an annual basis this year.