Hyundai Motor Group elevated its production capacity of BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) SUVs for 2018 to 74,000, which is almost the double the amount of its initial target. Its goal is to become a top five electric vehicle manufacturer globally.
“We have decided to increase annual production capacity of Hyundai Motor Company’s ‘KONA EV (project name: OS EV)’ and ‘Kia Motors’ Niro EV (DE EV)’ that are going to be released during the first half of 2018 and Kia Motors’ ‘Soul EV (SK EV)’ that went through a partial change this year to 74,000.” said a high-ranking official of Hyundai Motor Group on the 4th.
This production capacity almost doubles the amount of its production plan for BEV SUVs that was set earlier this year (38,000). If current production capacity of IONIQ (26,000) is added to its new annual production capacity, total production capacity for Hyundai Motor Group’s electric vehicles for 2018 will be around 100,000.
KONA EV, which will be mass-produced starting from April of 2018, is a second generation electric vehicle that can drive up to 390km with just single charge. Its mileage more than doubles the mileage of first generation IONIQ EV (191km). Based on outstanding improvement in mileage and utilization of wide space, which is one of the strengths of SUV, Hyundai Motor Group is going to speed up its process of targeting global markets. Niro EV also has similar standards and performance as KONA EV.
Reason why Hyundai Motor Group is increasing production capacity of its BEV SUVs is because it wants to be flexible in responding to growth of global electric markets in South Korea, China, U.S., and Europe. According to Hyundai Motor Group’s Global Business Intelligence Center, it is expected that 556,000 BEVs will be sold this year. Amount of sales of BEVs in 2017 is 84.7% and 27.8% higher than that of 2015 and 2016 respectively.

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<Hyundai Motor Company’s ‘KONA’. KONA EV will be mass-produced during the first half of 2018. >

Until now Hyundai Motor Group was rated to be behind of other electric vehicle manufacturers in development and production of electric vehicles. Although Hyundai Motor Group was placed top five globally in overall sales of its cars in 2016, it was not placed top ten based on sales of electric vehicles. It sold 13,817 electric vehicles in 2016 and it sold 21,345 electric vehicles in 2017 from January until October. Its market share in global electric vehicle markets is about 3% which places it on the 11th place.
Hyundai Motor Group is going to double the production of its electric vehicles in 2018 with SUVs at the center and is hoping to be placed in top five globally. According to EV Sales, China’s BYD (80,919, 9% market share) took the first place based on global sales of electric vehicles (BEV+PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid EV)) from January until October of this year. Tesla from the U.S. (78,139, 9%), Germany’s BMW (74,757, 9%), China’s BAIC (66,711, 8%), and Japan’s Nissan (45,032, 5%) took the rest of top five places.
With KONA EV at the front line of a battle, Hyundai Motor Group is planning to secure some leadership in electric vehicle markets by accelerating development and release of electric vehicles that are somewhat late compared to other manufacturers. Prior to this, Hyundai Motor Group announced its roadmap for eco-friendly vehicles that will increase number of eco-friendly vehicles from 14 to 31 by 2020. Hyundai Motor Group is planning to introduce 10 HEVs (Hybrid EV), 11 PHEVs, 8 BEVs, and 2 FCEVs (Fuel Cell EV) by 2020.
“According to our roadmap, we are going to increase size of production of electric vehicles and number of electric vehicles step by step.” said a representative for Hyundai Motor Group. “We are going to keep pace with continuous increase in number of demands for electric vehicles due to benefits from policies of each country.”
Staff Reporter Jung, Chiyeon |

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<■Trend of BEV sales globally ▲2015 ∆Number of sales: 301,000 ▲2016 ∆Number of sales: 435,000 ∆Increase rate: 44.5% ▲2017 ∆Number of sales (estimate): 556,000 ∆Increase rate: 27.8% Reference: Hyundai Motor Group’s Global Business Intelligence Center>