|Hyundai Motor and Kia headquarters in Seoul / Courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group|
By Kim Hyun-bin
Hyundai Motor aims to triple electric vehicle (EV) sales by 2025 and develop new EV batteries to help achieve that target.
"We are planning to internalize development of both the lithium batteries and next-generation batteries," Koo Za-yong, senior vice president and head of investor relations at Hyundai Motor, said during the company's conference call after releasing its second-quarter earnings, Thursday. "We plan to cooperate with the three local battery companies as well as foreign companies to develop an optimized battery that fulfills market requests."
The company is working to enhance solid-state batteries' safety, mileage and charging time, Koo said, adding that it will start a trial run of mass-producing the EV batteries by 2025 with a goal to officially enter mass production by 2030.
Hyundai Motor believes global EV demand will surpass current predictions. At present, EV demand is expected to exceed 10 million units by 2025.
The company plans to diversify its EV lineup to keep up with the changing market trends. Hyundai Motor unveiled the IONIQ 5, the automaker's first vehicle using its homegrown E-GMP EV platform, earlier this year and plans to release the upgraded IONIQ 6 next year.
"We plan to implement our E-GMP base in sedans, medium-size to large vehicles and even SUVs to diversify the lineup and to better meet customers' needs," said Kim Tae-yeon, vice president and head of the EV business strategy group at Hyundai Motor. "This year, we plan to sell 160,000 EVs spanning eight different models, including the Genesis EV. We aim to expand the line-up to 12 models and sell 560,000 EVs by 2025."
To strengthen the EV sector, the company plans to expand charging infrastructure, including super charging and other charging facilities suitable for apartments, as well as establishing a quality standard.
Hyundai Motor achieved 30.32 trillion won in sales in the second quarter, up 38.7 percent year-on-year, and an operating profit of 1.88 trillion won, surging 219.5 percent, according to the company's regulatory filing released Thursday.
Kia also released its second-quarter earnings, Thursday, achieving overall sales of 18.33 trillion won and operating profit of 1.48 trillion won, marking year-on-year rises of 61.3 percent and 924.5 percent, respectively.
Local sales dropped 8.2 percent to 148,309 vehicles, but the 70.9 percent surge in global sales to more than 605,000 vehicles was attributed to the spike in profitability at Kia.
"Sales surged drastically compared to the same period last year due to the base effect from last year's COVID-19 and a global sales recovery. Operating profit was hit by chip shortages and unfriendly exchange rates but an increase in sales volume led to profitability," a Hyundai Motor official said. "However, although the chip shortage is easing, some semiconductors will be in short of supply through the third quarter and it is expected to take some time to normalize operations."