Industry sources told The Korea Economic Daily that Hyundai has closed its internal combustion engine development and R&D centers. Hyundai will no longer develop new gasoline-powered vehicles, but will continue to hire several engineers to replace existing ones.
The company will also train engineers interested in the powertrain to take part in the electric vehicle development stages. The automaker has also set up a new battery department that focuses on the design, performance and raw materials of batteries to develop better battery cells.
Last August, automated driving systems company Motional announced it would add an electrically powered Hyundai robotaxis to its Lyft app by 2023, TechSpot reports. Previously, however, Hyundai also announced its target to sell 1.7 million electric vehicles worldwide by 2026.
This radical decision taken by Hyundai is due to the fact that other companies and governments want to completely switch to electric vehicles in the middle and end of the 2020s. In parallel, in November there were reports that Xiaomi intends to produce 300,000 electric vehicles per year from 2024, and that Volvo plans to switch to fully electric vehicles by 2030.
Meanwhile, New York wants to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2025. The UK has proposed phasing out petrol-only cars by 2030.