Hyundai’s big moves into electrification start with big models


Until now, Hyundai’s green lineup was mostly focused on the niche Ioniq compact car in hybrid, plug-in and EV versions.

Starting next year, the Ioniq name will be used for a subbrand of battery-electric vehicles that Hyundai is rolling out in the U.S. It starts with the Ioniq 5 midsize crossover in 2021, followed by the Ioniq 6 sedan in 2022 and the Ioniq 7 large crossover by 2024, the company has said. All future Ioniqs will be full EVs.

Capturing a significant share of the green-car market means moving ahead now with transitional technologies such as hybrids and plug-ins, Muñoz said. But Hyundai has big plans for full EVs.

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By 2025, Hyundai Motor Group, which includes Kia and Genesis, is targeting annual EV sales of 1 million globally.

Hyundai’s EV ambitions in the U.S. align with the expected pro-environmental policies of President-elect Joe Biden and even the new California policy of requiring all new cars sold in the state to be EVs by 2035.

“We hear loud and clear what the winning candidate, Biden, said on this,” Muñoz said. “And we believe our company is extremely well prepared for that because, basically, he is advocating for green vehicles.”

Muñoz added that Hyundai is also aligned with Biden on bringing jobs to the U.S. Hyundai will build the redesigned Tucson and the upcoming Santa Cruz pickup at its Alabama plant after a $410 million expansion. Further investments are possible.

“I think our programs are extremely aligned with future President Biden,” Muñoz said. “At the same time, South Korea has been a long-term ally of the United States on all fronts. There is an extremely good relationship between both countries. There are strategic alliances, and we work together on many fields.”

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