Hyundai isn’t about to let Tesla hog all the eco glory. The automaker has announced a near-term roadmap for green vehicle production, promising 31 hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric, and fuel cell models by 2020, shared between the Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands.
Having already joined the fray with its compact Ionic, offered in hybrid, plug-in and EV flavors, the company wants a larger presence in the fledgling (but growing) EV scene. To this end, it’s planning long-range, high-end EVs built on a dedicated platform, as well as a much-needed crossover that dispenses with gas stations altogether. The Kona, which arrives in the U.S. in gas-powered guise this winter, serves as a body donor.
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Knowing green car buyers also have plenty of green in their pockets, the company’s next-generation hydrogen fuel cell SUV is growing to midsize proportions, eager to satisfy California’s need for a true soccermobile that emits only peace, love, and water.
The unnamed model, seen above in concept form, replaces the slow-selling ix35 (Tucson) fuel cell vehicle and promises 360 miles of driving range and greater powerplant durability. We’ll learn more details and a model name at this January’s Consumer Electronics Show.
Of course, with less than two dozen hydrogen filling stations in California (and not much more than that overseas), Hyundai can’t count on a lighter-than-air gas as the fuel for its big green push. Enter electricity, which forms the center of the company’s plan. Because cobbled-together EVs based on ICE models don’t generally provide much battery space, Hyundai is developing a scaleable, dedicated platform for its future long-range EVs.
The first new Hyundai electric, the Kona EV, bows in early 2018 in Korea. (It isn’t known when we’ll see it cross the Pacific.) Following this, an electric Genesis model launches in 2021, followed soon after by a model boasting 310 miles of range. Hyundai isn’t saying what brand the third EV falls under, nor what bodystyle to expect.
The automaker also claims part of its plan includes creating larger, four-wheel-drive and rear-drive hybrids. That could come in handy for Genesis, which is aiming for two SUVs and a premium sports coupe to join its three sedans by 2021 (and who knows what else after).