Hyundai to push new strategy with EV car-sharing business, to open engine tech lab

21 Feb 2017 Namrita Chow

Hyundai's new strategy involves showcasing its latest electric IONIQ model and new technologies as it endeavours to gain ground in the alternative-powertrain segment.

IHS Markit Perspective:

  • Significance:Hyundai will launch three variants of the IONIQ model in international markets this year as it looks to become a global leader in innovative alternative-powertrain technology as well as to push its connected car technologies.
  • Implications:IHS Markit can confirm that the new electric vehicle (EV) car-sharing business will begin services in April and will use the IONIQ EV together with new connected technologies allowing the vehicle to be dropped off and collected from a location specified by the user.
  • Outlook:By 2020, IHS Markit forecasts that Hyundai will produce about four pure EV models and about 10 full hybrid vehicles, significantly lifting its position in the alternative-energy segment.

Hyundai Motor is to set up a technology laboratory for developing engine technologies for connected vehicles with autonomous driving capabilities. The new research facility will be dedicated to developing Hyundai's technical prowess in self-driving and connected-car applications, the Maeil Business Newspaper reports. Hyundai's announcement on the new technical facility, made today (21 February), highlights that the automaker will focus on research in business lines while also delving into artificial intelligence (AI), new materials, energy, and robotics. The new research and development (R&D) facility will open as early as March this year.

New business projects led by the lab will include a wide range of future innovative technologies including e-mobility and convergence technologies, said the automaker group. The new research lab will have an organisation responsible for planning and developing new technologies and another for new materials and other innovative technologies.

Hyundai will launch a purely electric vehicle (EV) car-sharing service in South Korea in April. The automaker and its automotive financing arm Hyundai Capital Services signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) today to launch the car-sharing programme. The scheme is expected to contribute to expanding South Korea's eco-friendly car market, said Hyundai Motor's director of domestic sales, Chang Jae-hoon.

Outlook and implications

Hyundai Motor has three R&D centres in South Korea: the Namyang Research Center, the High-Tech Research Center in Uiwang, and the Mabuk Technical Center in Yongin. The Namyang Center is reportedly focused on technologies for applications used across its lineup of vehicles, so focuses on mass production. The High-Tech centre is a future trend development research body that looks to technologies that are 10 years or so down the road. The Mabuk centre is the main hydrogen-fuel-cell research centre focusing on Hyundai's fuel-cell vehicle (FCV) development.

The new centre will become the main hub for the connected-vehicle technology base and focus on future trends for engine development, in line with Hyundai's overall push to advance its connected-car technologies.

The South Korean automaker revealed its vision for connected cars in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Working with technology company Cisco, the automaker aims to create the "safest and most advanced self-driving systems on the market".

Hyundai is working to create products under four different connected scenarios. Fully Autonomous Driving is intended to guarantee the highest levels of driving safety by monitoring traffic conditions, infrastructure information, and data from other vehicles. Smart Traffic is aimed at delivering convenience through optimised route guidance based on real-time traffic information, reducing congestion and minimising social costs from delays. Intelligent Remote Service involves monitoring the car's condition to identify and resolve issues remotely. Mobility Hub is the heart of the connected car, providing assistance and knowledge to connect customers with every aspect of their daily lives.

The automaker has also shown its autonomous hybrid/electric IONIQ concept and has highlighted its vision for future mobility involving "wearable robots, micro-mobility solutions, and interactive, health-conscious technology".

Hyundai's new car-sharing business for its EVs will further enhance its strategy to move to alternative fuel vehicles and promote its prowess in new technologies. The service will also involve an "on-demand" service allowing users to pick up and drop off vehicles at their desired location. Meanwhile, users of the new EV car-sharing service will gain points redeemable against the future purchase of a Hyundai car.

Sales of alternative-powertrain vehicles in South Korea rose in January by 42.2% year on year (y/y), according to data sourced by Yonhap News, although Hyundai's sales slipped 41.9% y/y in the month. Launching an EV car-sharing business will fuel demand for Hyundai's EVs. The automaker will use the service to enhance market penetration and awareness of its alternative-fuel vehicles and new technologies.

The push toward alternative-powertrain vehicles in South Korea is spurred by the government's commitment to spend KRW150 billion (USD130 million) in assisting R&D of alternative-powertrain vehicles during 2016-20. It aims by 2020 to have about 820,000 hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), 200,000 EVs, 50,000 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and 9,000 fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEVs) on the country's roads.

IHS Automotive's light-vehicle alternative propulsion forecasts predict the IONIQ will be Hyundai's leading new energy vehicle. In 2020, we expect annual production of about 62,700 hybrid IONIQ models and 6,900 full-electric IONIQ models.

Hyundai will launch sales of the IONIQ Electric in markets such as the United States from April this year. The all-electric model will cost about USD30,335 but will qualify for a US Federal Tax discount of USD7,500, bringing down its price. Meanwhile, the IONIQ PHEV will launch in the United States by year-end.

Hyundai uses a lithium-ion polymer battery pack for all IONIQ models. Hyundai is using 2017 as the launch pad for its new strategy to become a leading player in the push to alternative-fuel vehicles and connected-vehicle technology. The automaker will launch three variants of the IONIQ this year across global markets, further building its brand image as a pioneer of new technology. The launch of the technological lab for new powertrain technology and connected car technologies, plus the car-sharing service incorporating its EVs and new technologies, are part of the push to gain ground in the new growth sector.

About this article

The above article is from IHS Automotive Same-Day Analysis of automotive news, events and trends, and is a deliverable of the World Markets Automotive Service. The service averages thirty stories per day and also provides competitor and country intelligence. Get a free trial.


Filter Sort