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Hyundai Green Chief Says ‘Meh’ to Hybrids and Electrics, Dives in Anyway


“It’s a headache,” said the Hyundai vice president in charge of eco-friendly vehicles of his company’s efforts to chase Toyota and others in building green vehicles, Automotive News has reported.

Speaking at a South Korean electric car expo, Lee Ki-Sang, senior VP of Hyundai’s Eco Technology Center, went on to state that 26 hybrid, plug-in, full-electric, and fuel cell models will arrive by 2020, but added that Hyundai and Kia’s relatively small home market of Korea will make these moves risky and “difficult.”

One would think that the executive charged with building and selling an innovative line of vehicles would discuss the development of said vehicles with more than a simple yawn.

Considering that current historically-low fuel prices are leading to higher sales of trucks, especially in the U.S. market, Lee is likely right to be concerned about his company’s investment in green technologies.

Existing electrified vehicles account for about one percent of the company’s sales, and the take-up rate for EVs and plug-ins isn’t close to what Hyundai and other automakers had hoped. Lee even called the demand for EVs “miserable.”

Despite this, Hyundai and Kia aim to become the world’s second largest eco-car manufacturer by the end of the decade, meaning quick development of new technologies is in order.

[Image: Hyundai Motor America]

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