[THE INVESTOR] Ssangyong Motor plans to release its first electric vehicle by 2020, according to company officials on Dec. 21.
The Korean unit of Indian auto giant Mahindra & Mahindra outlined its plans to release eco-friendly cars, starting with the electric SUV equipped with the range-extenders technology, at the recent EV forum held by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy in Seoul.
Ssangyong Motor’s Tivoli range-extender EV concept car
Ssangyong chose range-extender EV for its push, considering South Korea’s eco-friendly market, the company said. The technology uses both internal combustion engine and electric motors, similar to hybrid cars. But the gasoline-powered engine act only as a back-up charger for the car batteries, with the sole purpose of extending the vehicle’s range.
“We decided to focus on developing range-extender EV taking consumer demand into account,” Kim Seok-young, a senior researcher at Ssangyong Motor, said at the forum. “The car has to cost 2 million won (US$1,669) to 3 million won, with a driving range of 320 kilometers for a single charge, to be fully charged within two hours.”
In the past, Ssangyong has released range-extender EV only as a concept car, including range-extender equipped Korando in 2012 and Tivoli in 2014.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor announced it will expand its eco-friendly car lineup to 28 models by 2020 -- including 10 hybrid cars, 8 plug-in hybrid EVs, 8 electric cars and 2 fuel-cell cars.
By Ahn Sung-mi (email@example.com)