Hyundai Motor Group said on Wednesday it will introduce an electric vehicle-only platform in early 2021 that will use its own battery technology to reduce production time and costs.
The plan highlights efforts by the automaker to become a major player in the global electric vehicle (EV) market, as automakers around the world are making billions of dollars of investment to improve battery technology, which keeps EV prices high compared with combustion engine models.
Market leader Tesla Inc said in September it intends to halve the cost of its EV batteries and cause more production of the major auto component in-house to decrease EV prices to $25,000 each.
Hyundai expects its dedicated Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) will enable it to use its own battery module technology throughout various EV models and reduce the number of components by 60%.
“E-GMP will be highly effective in expanding the Group’s EV leadership position as it will enable the company to enlarge its EV line-up over a relatively short period through modularization and standardization,” the automaker said in a statement.
An electric vehicle based on E-GMP will provide a driving range of 500 kms (310 miles) or more on a single charge, an improvement of at least 23% from the Kona EV, the longest driving range model among the automaker’s EV lineups.
However, Hyundai’s R&D chief Albert Biermann said the automaker doesn’t see the need to make its own battery cells and is content with collaborating with its suppliers including SK Innovation and LG Chem‘s LG Energy Solution.
Hyundai and its sister company Kia together intend to sell 1 million EVs in 2025 to become the world’s third-largest seller of EVs.
It has promised 23 new EVs including 11 all-electric models by 2025 and prepares to release a family of EVs under the Ioniq brand from 2021 to lead its near-term transition toward EV production.