[THE INVESTOR] Hyundai Motor, Korea’s largest carmaker, on July 26 said it plans to release an all-electric version of Kona subcompact SUV, as well as hydrogen fuel cell car to bolster its green car lineup.
“Hyundai is planning to release a hydrogen fuel cell SUV as well as Kona EV in the first half of next year,” Hyundai CFO Choi Byeong-cheol said during a conference call after its second-quarter earnings report. “We are developing Kona EV with a 390-kilometer range on a single charge.”
When released, Kona is expected to have the longest driving range in the EV market, outpacing its current rivals Chevrolet Bolt EV that delivers the longest-range of 383 kilometers and Tesla Model S with 378 kilometers. Hyundai’s own Ioniq EV delivers 191 kilometers, while its smaller affiliate Kia Motors’ Soul offers 148 kilometers.
For Hyundai’s all-important Chinese market, the carmaker plans to launch the electric model of Elantra Yuedong compact sedan in the second half of this year. By 2020, it aims to release six eco-friendly vehicles in order to meet the Chinese government’s strict EV mandate that requires 8 percent EV quota for all carmakers from 2018.
The carmaker said its green car sales increased 74 percent on-year in the first half of this year to 45,000 units, thanks to the popularity of Ioniq in overseas markets.
During the conference call, Hyundai said its second quarter operating profit dropped 23.7 percent on-year to 1.34 trillion won (US$1.19 billion), hit by sales slump in its all-important Chinese market amid political tension.
Revenue came to 24.30 trillion won, down 1.5 percent from a year earlier, and net profit stood at 913.6 billion won in the April-June period, down 48.2 percent. The automaker sold 1.10 million units in the cited period.
As for the first half of this year, Hyundai sold 2.19 million units in Korea and overseas, down 8.2 percent.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org)