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At the car event Seoul International Motor Show, the South Korean car company unveiled its venture into developing its first electric cars, and allotting a dedicated platform to seeing through the operations and development of the said car.

According to Hyundai, it decided to start with developing Future Eco fuel-cell electric car models in order to keep up with other auto companies that have started in development and production of electric cars, like Tesla is known for.

Hyundai stated that it will first focus on developing electric cars out of existing small electric sport utility vehicles with affiliate auto company Kia Motors. Following the launch of the electric SUV, Kia will then release a similar model the following year too. According to Hyundai, they chose to work on SUVs because of the strong demand for the car type in recent market demands.

The dedicated architecture is estimated to be completed around 2018 or further, since the production start will be based off existing platforms.

Hyundai Senior Vice President and leader of the company’s green cars operations, Lee Ki-Sang, has provided several details during the car show in South Korea, while also showcasing several other plans of the company for the future, including fuel-cell car models, eco friendly models, and the luxury Genesis electric vehicle.

“The electric-vehicle platform will require high up-front investments but we are doing this to prepare for the future,” said Lee in one of his statements.

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According to the senior vice president, the compact models will have a range of more than 300 km (168 miles) per change, emphasizing that these will have a ‘more competitive’ features than their rivals. The model concept has an advanced driver assistance technology feature with an extended hydrogen-powered range, in line with Hyundai’s target of creating zero-emissions hydrogen energy society.

It was also mentioned that Hyundai chose to enter the electric cars venture right now because they believe that these vehicles will account for at least 10% of total global sales by 2025. The sales of electric vehicles at present account for 1% of the total global market.

Future Car Tech Innovations

During the Seoul Motor Show, Hyundai also presented some of its latest hyper-connected car and autonomous driving technologies. The main front during Hyundai’s presentation was its self-developed platform for connected-car service.

The South Korean auto company also unveiled its new Grandeur IG Hybrid sedan. The full-size hybrid sedan has a 2.4-liter gasoline engine and can travel 16.2 kilometers on a liter of petrol with the use of 17-inch tires. The model can run on 1.76 kWh batteries and can actually operate longer when switched to electric drive mode, which also saves gas.

In additions to that, the hybrid model can produce up to 159 horsepower and 21 kilogram-force meters of torque using a six-speed automatic gearbox.

With the latest hybrid sedan, Hyundai targets the sale of around 10,000 units every year in the domestic market with a price range of 36 million – 40 million won ($32,000 - $36,000). Meanwhile, the company stated that at present, they do not have any plans of selling the latest model overseas.

The Seoul International Motor Show commenced this Thursday, March 30, and will go through until April 9, showcasing new vehicles, mostly featuring future mobility technologies, which includes autonomous vehicles and connected cars.

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