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Automobiles

Hyundai Motor vows carbon neutrality by 2045

Hyundai to stop selling internal combustion engine models in Europe from 2035

By Sep 07, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Hyundai Motor is showcasing its first autonomous robotaxi based on Hyundai’s latest all-electric SUV, the IONIQ5, and the Prophecy concept that previews the IONIQ6, at the IAA Mobility 2021. (Courtesy of Hyundai Motor)
Hyundai Motor is showcasing its first autonomous robotaxi based on Hyundai’s latest all-electric SUV, the IONIQ5, and the Prophecy concept that previews the IONIQ6, at the IAA Mobility 2021. (Courtesy of Hyundai Motor)

South Korea’s top automaker Hyundai Motor Co. pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 as global automakers are going for broke to accomplish zero-emission. It plans to move forward with conversion of electric vehicles (EVs) and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) while increasing use of renewable energy such as solar and wind power.

Hyundai unveiled the commitment to be achieved by clean mobility, next-generation platforms, and green energy at the IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich, Germany, on Sept. 6.

“Climate change is an undeniable challenge that needs everyone’s utmost and urgent attention. Hyundai Motor commits to become carbon neutral in its global products and operations by 2045, and we will make investments in cleaner transportation and greener energy solutions to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all,” said Hyundai’s president & CEO Chang Jae-hoon.

Its global peers such as Mercedes-Benz reveled their carbon neutrality commitments including plans for EVs at the motor show, one of the word’s four largest car fairs.

Chang said Hyundai is set to open a whole new world with the carbon neutrality.

“In the morning on Sept. 6, 2045, the new generation will be able to start their life without any emission. That is our goal,” Chang told The Korea Economic Daily. “We will make sure that people can comfortably move anytime as well as anywhere, and focus on relationships with others.”

Hyundai aims to become a company that offers new business opportunities and jobs, providing eco-friendly hydrogen and electricity to work places and homes, Chang added.

FULL THROTTLE FOR CARBON NEUTRALITY

Hyundai must speed up moves to achieve carbon neutrality, Chang emphasized. “You can survive only when you go down this road faster than anyone else.”

The company plans to stop selling internal combustion engine models including hybrid cars in Europe from 2035 in a bid to accomplish the target. It is set to cease selling those vehicles by 2040 in other markets such as the United States, China and South Korea.

Initially, the maker of the premium Genesis models had planned to sell EVs and FCEVs only from 2040 in key markets including Europe.

“Based on pre-emptive response and bold innovation in Europe, we will speed up carbon neutrality throughout the global markets. To go far, we have to drive fast,” Chang stressed.
Hyundai Motor president & CEO Chang Jae-hoon (middle) is attending an event to unveil its goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 with other key executives.
Hyundai Motor president & CEO Chang Jae-hoon (middle) is attending an event to unveil its goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 with other key executives.


MORE FCEV LINEUPS

Hyundai plans to launch more FCEV models in a bid to accelerate its move for the carbon neutrality goal.

In 2023, Hyundai will introduce the next model of NEXO, the first dedicated hydrogen-powered SUV, and hydrogen-powered multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) model.

The company plans to launch a large SUV powered by fuel cell after 2025. In addition, it is slated to roll out ten commercial vehicles powered by hydrogen in the next decade.

ROBOTAXI, UAM

Hyundai showcased its first autonomous robotaxi based on Hyundai’s latest all-electric SUV, the IONIQ5, at the IAA Mobility 2021. The robotaxi, which Hyundai developed with its US mobility joint venture Motional Inc., is one of the mobility platforms the automaker has been preparing for the carbon neutrality.

Hyundai plans to supply the IONIQ5 robotaxi, equipped with the hardware and software needed for Level 4 self-driving capabilities, to a ride-hailing company Lyft Inc. from 2023.

The robotaxi, which combines electric and self-driving technologies, will contribute to building a sustainable transportation network and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Hyundai said. EV conversion through fleet sales to corporates will be able to reduce more carbon dioxide quickly and steadily than sales to individual customers, according to the company.

“The effect of EV conversion is much greater in shared cars used by many people than in privately owned cars,” said a Hyundai official. “Once self-driving technology is added, it is possible to drastically cut energy consumption and solve urban traffic jams.”

In addition to the robotaxi, the company aims to develop eco-friendly mobility platforms such as urban air mobility (UAM). It plans to unveil an electric UAM in 2028 and introduce a model to connect neighboring cities in 2030.

Hyundai is also slated to increase renewable energy including solar and wind power in car manufacturing process to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with a plan to cut electricity demand at its global operations by more than 90% by 2040. In 2045, all of its operations are set to use only renewable energy.

Under the commitment, the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Czech plant will be the company’s first factory to completely convert its electricity usage to renewable energy in 2022.

Hyundai Motor's booth with the concept of an eco-friendly hydrogen society is crowded with visitors. (Courtesy of Hyundai Motor)
Hyundai Motor's booth with the concept of an eco-friendly hydrogen society is crowded with visitors. (Courtesy of Hyundai Motor)


Write to Il-Gue Kim and Hyung-Kyu Kim at black0419@hankyung.com

Jongwoo Cheon edited this article.

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