Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun speaks during the conglomerate’s New Year ceremony at its head office in Seoul on Thursday. Photo by UPI News Korea
SEOUL, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Hyundai Motor Group, South Korea's largest automaker, plans to invest $87 billion over the next five years in future mobility technologies like electric vehicles and autonomous driving.
Hyundai Executive Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun, heir apparent of the country's No. 2 conglomerate, announced the plan Thursday during the group's New Year ceremony at its head office in Seoul.
"To consolidate our leadership in vehicle electrification, we plan to operate 44 electrified models by 2025, including 11 dedicated battery EV models, by bolstering the development of EV platforms and core components," he said.
"In particular, in our fuel-cell electric vehicle business, where we boast the world's top technological competitiveness, we will hit our stride by providing fuel-cell systems to customers not only in the automotive industry but also in other sectors."
Hyundai strives to expand its electric lineup to 44 models, including 23 battery EVs and 14 hybrids, and two fuel-cell EVs. The first new battery EV will be launched next year.
A battery EV operates based on electricity stored in its battery; a fuel-cell EV has a hydrogen fuel cell, which generates electricity with hydrogen when the car is on the road.
Another top priority of Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth-biggest carmaker in terms of sales, is self-driving commercialization, according to Chung.
The automaker aims to develop an autonomous driving platform by 2022 and to start operating self-driving vehicles in 2023 before commercial production in the next year, he said.
Toward that end, the group poured $2 billion last year into a joint venture with Ireland-based autonomous vehicle startup Aptiv.
With regard to the group's 2020 sales, Chung cited an ambitious objective of 7.54 million vehicles, up 5 percent from a year ago. The group saw its annual sales dip to 7.19 million cars last year, which was the lowest after peaking at 8 million in 2015.