Hyundai Motor Group is winding down development of internal combustion engines, The Korea Economic Daily reported last week.
The automaker closed its research and development center for combustion engines in Namyang, South Korea, according to the report, which cited industry sources familiar with the matter.
“Now, it is inevitable to convert into electrification,” newly appointed Hyundai R&D boss Park Chung-kook said in an email to employees quoted by The Korea Economic Daily. He said Hyundai “must change the system” by shifting its R&D resources away from combustion engines.
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5
Teams previously involved with internal combustion will be shifted to electric powertrain development, as will much of the physical infrastructure at the Namyang R&D site, according to the report.
Exactly six months ago, Reuters reported that Hyundai had stopped developing new internal combustion engines, but said the automaker planned to keep working on efficiency improvements on existing designs for emerging markets.
Hyundai is launching a new range of electric cars based on its E-GMP modular platform for the new Ioniq sub-brand, as well as the existing Kia and Genesis brands. It plans to start building EVs in the United States next year.
Hyundai Hydrogen Wave concepts
The automaker also expects to have 10 electrified models in its U.S. lineup by the end of next year, but that includes hybrids and plug-in hybrids alongside battery-electric vehicles and the Nexo hydrogen fuel-cell crossover (which is only available in California).
Earlier this year Hyundai also unveiled a sweeping hydrogen fuel-cell vision. It plans to achieve a fuel-cell vehicle price point comparable to battery-electric vehicles by 2030. Hyundai is also advocating for use of fuel cells in commercial trucks, and possibly pickups and SUVs as well.