Hydrogen champion Hyundai races to EV market as Tesla takes off. Hyundai originally thought Tesla would not be much of a threat as it only produced expensive vehicles. However, now that Tesla has begun to produce moderately priced EV it intrudes on Hyundai sales territory. As a result, Hyundai has announced it is going on the offensive by starting up EV production. The hydrogen champion Hyundai plans to introduce two dedicated EV production lines, one in 2021 other by 2024. Additionally, the company has been in talks with Samsung, LG, and SK Group in an attempt to secure batters. A Hyundai spokesperson stated that as the EV race intensifies batteries are harder to acquire a supply line of. Ultimately, Hyundai wishes to produce 23 EV models and claim a 10% market share in the industry by 2025.
As Hyundai races to the EV market it faces several major challenges. Chief amongst these is the fact that Hyundai is not setup to make electrical vehicles. Indeed, for the longest time it has focused on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Primarily due to the fact that up until recently there was no electronic infrastructure in the areas, they sold vehicles. That being said, the hydrogen fuel cell technology never became popular has grown less so as Tesla success increase. However, Hyundai still plans to produce two hydrogen cell vehicles models in the coming years.
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Another major challenge Hyundai face as it races EV comes from their employee union. Specifically, the union is concerned that switching over to electronic will take away jobs. A valid concern considering most EV components are outsourced and require fewer employees to assemble. As a result, Hyundai’s workers union is pushing for the company to produce most the EV components in-house. This would offset any reduction in workforce caused by switching over to electronic vehicles.
The final challenge Hyundai faces in the race to EV market is lack of knowledge. Specifically, how to leverage every technology into their design. This one of the reasons Tesla is based in Silicon Valley where they are ready access to new evolving technology. Additionally, most established car manufacturers are lagging 10 years behind in the development of electronic vehicles. While these challenges are not unattainable for the hydrogen champion Hyundai it may take longer than hoped to achieve.