An early backer of hydrogen-powered vehicles, Hyundai Motor Co is now ramping up its electric vehicle offensive as it watches America’s Tesla rise across markets, including Hyundai’s home country. According to a Reuters report, the South Korean company has plans for two new production lines dedicated to electric vehicles (EVs) – one in 2021 and the other in 2024. The report adds that Euisun Chung, leader of the Hyundai Motor Group including Kia Motors, has held meetings in the past recent months with counterparts at Samsung, LG and SK Group – which make batteries and electronic parts.
The purpose of the meetings publicly announced was Hyundai trying to secure batteries in times of tight supply as the EV race intensifies, industry sources suggest. These brands also supply to others like Tesla, Volkswagen, and General Motors.
The collaboration with the Korean battery suppliers is ‘to scale up’ its electric car production, Hyundai told Reuters, without commenting upon the addition of two new production lines. Samsung, LG and SK declined to comment, the report adds.
Earlier this month, Chung also announced that Hyundai Motor Group intends to ramp up EV sales to 1 million a year and hold 10 percent of the global market share by 2025.
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To get to these statistics, Hyundai has a long way to go having sold 86,434 battery vehicles last year, as per data from industry consultant LMC Automotive. The sales figure is bigger than the Volkswagen Group at 73,278 units but lower than Tesla’s 3,67,500.
The Reuters report further mentions a Hyundai insider’s statement that the company was not concerned about Tesla’s high-end electric cars but became more worried only when the Silicon Valley company rolled out a cheaper Model 3 in 2017, calling it a “strategic victory”.
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