Hyundai eases investor concerns with launch schedules of long range electric vehicles

While Hyundai Motor has focussed on fuel cell technology, its peers including Tesla, have surged ahead in battery technology.

On Thursday, Hyundai Motor Co disclosed it would be launching a long-range electric vehicle featuring a driving range of at least 311 miles (500 km) per charge after 2021.

The annoucement is aimed at addressing investor concerns that it is lagging behind its peers in the race to bring electric cars in the market.

Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp, which together rank fifth in global vehicle sales, also disclosed that they were planning on bringing out 31 eco-friendly models by 2020; up from the previously mentioned figure of 28.

The new additions include three plug-in hybrid vehicles, which come on top of eight battery-powered cars and two fuel-cell vehicles.

Incidentally, battery-powered vehicles, have increasingly gained traction with Tesla in the lead in comparison to fuel-cell battery technology backed vehicles lead by Toyota Motor Corp and Hyundai.

In 2016 Hyundai had launched its first mass-market pure electric car IONIQ. However its offtake was not as expected given its limited per-charge driving range, in comparison to Tesla’s and GM’s offerings.

Hyundai has stated it will bring out an electric version of its Kona small sport utility vehicle (SUV) in the first half of next year featuring a driving range of 390 km.

It has also confirmed that it is in the process of developing its first dedicated electric vehicle platform, which will allow it to produce multiple models with longer driving ranges.

Hyundai has also unveiled a near-production version of its new fuel cell SUV which has a driving range of more than 800 km per charge under European standards. This is almost double that ot its Tucson fuel cell SUV which gives 415 km per charge.

The mid-sized SUV will be launched in Korea in early 2018, followed by U.S. and European markets.

Hyundai is also slated to unveil a fuel cell electric bus late this year.

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