The electric car trend started by Tesla is taking over the world, including South Korea, which is Hyundai’s home region. Hyundai Motor Co., the pioneer of Hydrogen Cars, has planned to enter in the EVs market now by opening two dedicated production factories for battery-powered cars, one in 2021 and another in 2024.
The Elon Musk-led automaker has become the most valuable carmaker in the world, surpassing every giant in the industry. The Hyundai chairman, Chung Eui-son, is also in talks with the battery and electronic part manufacturers Samsung, LG, and SK group, since May. These are the same battery producing counterparts who supply the electric parts to Tesla, General Motors, and Volkswagen.
Hyundai is trying to secure a deal with one of the producers and wants to secure the supply of EV related parts in the times of tense supply as the demand for electric cars intensifies.
Earlier on July 14, Chung also announced that the company is trying aggressively to expand its EV operations and aims to sell 10,000,000 electric vehicles every year by 2025, and get a global market share of more than 10% in the sector.
Last year, the South Korean automaker sold around 86,434 battery vehicles as compared to Tesla, which delivered around 367,500 EVs. However, the company is still ahead of Volkswagen, which sold nearly 73,278 electric cars. Although, Hyundai chose not to comment anything on opening production lines but admitted that the company had held a number of meetings with several Korean battery suppliers to increase the efficiency of its electric car line.
The history of electric vehicles with Hyundai has also not been very good. In 2010, the Hyundai Motor Co. made around 230 EVs for the government administration, but the cars ended up standing dead at the company’s Seoul based research centre due to lack of infrastructure facilities.
Further, in 2014, Lee, the person who developed South Korea’s first gasoline-based engine, said EVs are not realistic, crediting them with high battery costs, and that hydrogen cars, are much better and clean alternative and have bright future.
That time, Hyundai, Toyota, and Nikola were few of the companies which backed hydrogen cars. But it seems like the industry was unable to get the same enthusiastic response from consumers. Last year, only 7,700 hydrogen cars were sold overall in the world, whereas more than 1.68 million electric vehicles were delivered.
Hyundai has a market cap of around $21.2 billion, which is not even one-tenth of Tesla, which has a market capitalisation of around $285 billion. Now the South Korean automaker is planning to only two hydrogen-based models and more than 22 electric vehicles by 2025.
In June 2020, Tesla beat Hyundai in its home market too, delivering more vehicles than Hyundai’s Kona EV, and surpassed other premium car makers like BMW and Audi too.