Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors are going to release PHEV models of their most popular SUVs “Santa Fe and Sorento” respectively in the European market first in order to actively deal with European regulations on exhaust gas that are going to be stricter starting from next year. The models’ release dates in South Korea are not known yet.
According to the industry on Monday, Hyundai and Kia finished developing PHEV models of Santa Fe and Sorento and revealed their detailed specifications through their European corporations. This is the first time that they have made PHEV models for their SUVs. They will look to start mass-production by the end of this year and regularize sales in European countries next year.
The two PHEV models share the same powertrain. Their powertrain combine 1.6-liter T-GDi engine, electric motor with 90 horsepower, and 13.8kWh battery. The system generates a maximum of 265 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque and provides smooth driving performance based on ample amount of strength.
The system also comes with a four-wheel drive system and six-speed automatic transmission. Although the official mileages are not announced, the two models have ranges of up to 60km (based on WLTP) on electricity alone and display excellent efficiency.
The European Union’s strict regulations on exhaust gas from cars is the reason why Hyundai and Kia are targeting the European market first. The union is going to limit the average emission rate of new cars sold in European countries to 95g per km. When a car goes over the limit, its corresponding manufacturer needs to pay $113 (95 Euro) per g.
The industry believes that it is practically impossible to meet the limit with today’s cars. In order to lower average emission rate, manufacturers need to quickly increase sales of electric motored cars. It is also urgent for Hyundai and Kia that sell many of their cars in Europe to quickly input electric motored cars.
Because many European countries still lack charging stations for electric vehicles, many customers from European countries prefer PHEV or BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle).
It is unclear when the two PHEV models will be released in South Korea because not many consumers from the country prefer PHEV and the South Korean Government provides more subsidy for BEV that has much less emission of exhaust gas. While BEV receives national subsidy (based on normal sized sedan) between $5,050 (6 million KRW) and $6,740 (8 million KRW) and additional subsidies from local government groups, PHEV only receives national subsidy of $4,210 (5 million KRW).
Some are concerned that the current amount of subsidy for PHEV will be even lower or completely gone when the government starts to provide less subsidies for eco-friendly cars starting from next year. Actually, the government stopped paying subsidies for regular HEVs (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) since last year.
“With European countries at the center, many countries are preparing to enforce strict regulations on exhaust gas starting from next year.” said a representative for the industry. “It is expected that PHEV will be a steppingstone to further reduce exhaust gas and to expand the global markets for eco-friendly cars before every car in the world becomes BEV.”
Staff Reporter Jung, Chiyeon | firstname.lastname@example.org