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Hyundai Backtracks on Fuel-Cell Tech, Plans Shift to EVs

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【Summary】Hyundai Motor Co. confirmed that it would be switching gears from fuel-cell technology to pursuing premium, long-range electric vehicles.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Aug 25, 2017 9:30 AM PT
Hyundai Backtracks on Fuel-Cell Tech, Plans Shift to EVs

Hyundai was one of the few automakers to pursue fuel-cell technology, while others shifted their development and engineering towards technology for electric vehicles. In fact, the Korean automaker recently revealed an almost-production ready variant of a fuel-cell SUV that it hopes to release early next year. And while Hyundai is still adamantly working on fuel cell vehicles, the automaker recently announced that it would be shifting towards long-range electric vehicles.

Fuel Cell's Out, EVs Are In

According to a report by Automotive News, Hyundai recently announced that it would be making EVs a priority, and at the top of the priority list is a premium long-range electric vehicle. 

The move to start focusing on electric vehicles, as the outlet points out, is Hyundai's way of attempting to catch up to the competition. The Chevrolet Bolt, for instance, is a great EV that's affordable and has a range of 238 miles on a single charge, making it the electric vehicle to beat at the moment. 

Earlier this year in June, Hyundai confirmed that it would put a long-range EV on the road by the second quarter of 2018 and provided a little more information on what the car may be. As Automotive News reports, the upcoming electric vehicle will be sold under the automaker's high-end Genesis brand, come out sometime in 2021, and have a range of 310 miles. But that's not all, as the outlet claims that Hyundai will also put an electric variant of the Kona crossover on to the road that will have a range of 242 miles on a single charge next year. 

If those figures are to be believed, both of the electric vehicles will be able to outrun a Bolt, while the high-end EV will be close to having the same range as the Tesla Model S P100D. 

"We're strengthening our eco-friendly car strategy, centering on electric vehicles," said Executive Vice President Lee Kwang-guk at a news conference. Kwagn-guk called EV technology realistic and mainstream, claims Auto News

Ready Or Not, 8 EVs Are Coming

Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp, as the report states, also have plans to add an additional three plug-in cars, bringing the combined total to 31 cars by 2020. And to underline the fact that Hyundai means business, the automaker's complete plans for an EV-future include, as Auto News states, eight battery-powered automobiles and only two fuel-cell cars. That's a drastic change from the Korean automaker's goals in 2014, which included only two battery-powered cars, claims the outlet. 

In addition to coming out with loads of electric vehicles in the near future, Hyundai also confirmed a previous Reuters report that stated the automaker would be developing a new electric-vehicle platform that would underpin all of its battery-powered machines. 

While Hyundai fans may recall the automaker's first all-electric vehicle, the Ioniq, the vehicle has already become irrelevant, as its range is much less than the offerings from Chevrolet or Tesla, claims Automotive News. That reveals just how rapidly the electric-vehicle segment is involving and what's forcing automakers to develop and engineer new tech.  

via: Automotive News

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