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Future mobility

Hyundai Motor to make EVs in US with $7.4 bn investment by 2025

By May 14, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Hyundai Motor's all-electric IONIQ 5
Hyundai Motor's all-electric IONIQ 5

Hyundai Motor Group will pump $7.4 billion into its US operations by 2025, with a focus on future mobility segments, including electric vehicles (EVs).

The group said on May 13 that the $7.4 billion investment will be used in the areas of EVs, hydrogen vehicles, urban air mobility (UAM), robotics, autonomous driving as well as enhancement of its existing production facilities in the US.

“With our strategic investment in future innovative technologies, Hyundai Motor Group will drive the auto industry’s paradigm shift and take the lead in the US market,” said a group spokesperson.  

The infusion will allow the group’s Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Corp. to build American-made electric vehicles. The group said that Hyundai Motor’s US plant will begin EV production from 2022. Analysts say that IONIQ 5 will likely be the first EV model to be manufactured at the US factory.

According to expert analysis, the number of EVs in the US will grow from 2.4 million units by 2025 to 4.8 million by 2030, jumping again to 8 million by 2035.   

Hyundai Motor Group will continue to work with the US government and its American business partners to expand the country’s hydrogen energy ecosystem. The group signed an MOU with the US Department of Energy in February 2020 to cooperate in hydrogen fuel cell technology innovation.

“We are committed to fostering a hydrogen society to create new business opportunities for a sustainable future,” the group said.

Specifically, the group will kick off a pilot project later this year regarding the commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell-powered electric trucks. It will also work with local partners to conduct a demo project on hydrogen refueling.

Hyundai Motor Group previously made an agreement with Cummins Inc., an American company that specializes in advanced powertrain, to accelerate the deployment of hydrogen fuel cell electric systems in the US.

The group will also set up a separate subsidiary in Washington DC to lead its UAM business and will expand its foothold in robotics through its affiliate Boston Dynamics. Hyundai Motor Group acquired a controlling 80% stake in Boston Dynamics last year.

Hyundai Motor Group will also strengthen collaboration with Motional Inc., its driverless technology JV created in partnership with leading US mobility firm Aptiv, to further advance its technical expertise in autonomous driving.

Motional has started testing Hyundai Motor’s all-electric IONIQ 5 on public roads with advanced autonomous driving technology, according to the group.

Hyundai Motor Group has been reporting sustained growth in the US, with its market share rising from 7.3% in 2018 and 7.7% in 2019 to 8.4% in 2020 and 8.8% in the first quarter of 2021. The auto group sold 150,994 vehicles in the US last month, the highest volume since its market entry in 1986.  

Insiders say group chairman Chung Euisun’s primary focus has been on the US market of late. He made a surprise visit to the country last month, to Hyundai Motor’s sales entity in Los Angeles and manufacturing facility in Alabama.  

Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor Group is also rapidly expanding investment outside the US -- in China, South Korea and other regions -- annually spending more than 20 trillion won ($17.7 billion) globally on the enhancement of its existing facilities and on future mobility sectors.

Write to Byung-Uk Do at dodo@hankyung.com

Daniel Cho edited this article.

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