Hyundai Motor plans to produce its first electric vehicle (project name: NE) from an electric vehicle only platform in China next year.
Hyundai plans to produce the NE at its Chinese plant in the first half of next year. If production proceeds as planned, it will mark the company’s first production of EVs at an overseas plant.
The NE is a compact crossover utility vehicle (CUV) and a pure electric vehicle (EV). It is reportedly based on the EV concept car “45” which Hyundai Motor unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2019. The designer of the 45 said that he was inspired by the design of the Pony Coupe.
China, along with Europe, has introduced strong environmental regulations. Mandatory production of eco-friendly cars will be strengthened in China and Europe beginning this year. Since January 2019, the Chinese government has mandated that companies producing more than 30,000 cars a year in China allocate more than 10 percent of their output to vehicles powered by new energy sources. The proportion will be raised to 12 percent this year. Chinese authorities have raised their green car sales target to 25 percent in 2025 from 20 percent.
Thanks to such tough regulations, China emerged as the world's largest electrified vehicle market in 2018. In 2016, electrified vehicles accounted for 18.6 percent of all vehicles in China, but their share grew to 33.8 percent in 2018, surpassing the United States, Europe and Japan, according to Hyundai Motor Group's Global Management Research Institute. The figure hit 34.8 percent in 2019 and is expected to reach 37.6 percent this year.
"Electrification may be a great opportunity for Hyundai Motor, which is having difficulties in China," an industry insider said. “I understand that Hyundai Motor is considering applying electrification to its production facilities.”