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Exclusive - Hyundai to slash combustion engine line-up, invest in EVs - sources

Berita 24 English -  According to two people familiar with the South Korean automaker, Hyundai Motor Group will reduce the number of combust...

Berita 24 English - 
According to two people familiar with the South Korean automaker, Hyundai Motor Group will reduce the number of combustion engine models in its lineup to free up resources to invest in electric vehicles (EVs).

The move will result in a 50% reduction in fossil-fuel-powered models. One of the people said that top management approved the strategy in March.

"It is a significant business move because it frees up R&D resources to focus on the remaining products: electric motors, batteries, and fuel cells," the person said, without providing a timeline for the plan.

While Hyundai did not directly respond to a Reuters inquiry about its plans for combustion engine vehicles, the company said in an email on Thursday that it was accelerating the adoption of environmentally-friendly vehicles such as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and battery electric vehicles.

Hyundai further stated that it will increase its internal combustion engine vehicle lineup efficiency in emerging markets.

The automaker added that it intends to gradually increase its battery-electric vehicle offerings in key markets such as the United States, Europe, and China, aiming to complete electrification by 2040.

Hyundai Motor Group, which includes Hyundai Motor Co, Kia Corp, and Genesis, aims to sell approximately one million electric vehicles annually by 2025, capturing a 10% share of the global EV market.

All major automakers are accelerating their transition to electric vehicles in response to Europe's and China's tightening CO2 emission targets.

The high cost of developing electric motors and extending the range of automobile batteries has already convinced some that their days of investing in conventional engines are numbered.

"Hyundai has ceased development of new internal combustion engine powertrains," one of the sources said.

PSA Group announced in November, just before merging with Fiat Chrysler to form Stellantis, that it was discontinuing investments in combustion engines.

Daimler recently redesigned its combustion engines, and executives believe the new generation will see the company through its electrification transition.

Several automakers have already announced plans to transition to all-electric vehicles, including Sweden's Volvo, owned by China's Geely.

Ford Motor Co. has stated that its European lineup will be entirely electric by the same date.

For Hyundai, which, along with Kia, is one of the world's top ten automakers, the move is critical because it offers one of the industry's broadest ranges of engine and transmission technologies.

According to one source, the group will finalize its strategy to transition to all-electric vehicles within six months.

Hyundai announced in April that it would reduce its gasoline models in China from 21 to 14 by 2025 while launching new electric models every year beginning in 2022.

In February, the group announced that it had terminated discussions with Apple regarding developing an autonomous vehicle.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the group's proposal to become a contract manufacturer for Apple met stiff internal opposition.

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