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Hyundai, Kia to invest W21 tril. in domestic EV biz by 2030

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First Vice Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Jang Young-jin, center, poses with Hyundai Motor President Kong Young-woon, left, and Kia Executive Vice President Choi Jun-young during his visit to Kia's AutoLand plant in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, Wednesday. Courtesy of Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy
First Vice Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Jang Young-jin, center, poses with Hyundai Motor President Kong Young-woon, left, and Kia Executive Vice President Choi Jun-young during his visit to Kia's AutoLand plant in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, Wednesday. Courtesy of Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy

Yoon administration vows full support to nurture future car industry

By Baek Byung-yeul

Hyundai Motor Group will invest 21 trillion won ($16.5 billion) by 2030 to expand its domestic electric vehicle (EV) production and other related businesses in line with the government's plan to develop the EV industry into one of the core sectors of the country's economy, the automotive group said Wednesday.

Under the investment plan, the automotive group's annual EV production capacity will reach 1.44 million vehicles in 2030 from this year's projected production capacity of 350,000.

"The large-scale investment of Hyundai Motor and Kia in the domestic EV industry is aimed at upgrading the domestic EV ecosystem and making the country play a role of leading innovation globally in the future car industry," a Hyundai Motor official said.

The investment funds will be used to expand EV production capacity, diversify EV lineups, develop parts and technologies, create infrastructure and seek various new businesses related to EVs.

"It is also expected the virtuous cycle of domestic EV production, R&D, infrastructure and related industries will be promoted," the official added.

The group said the first tasks to be carried out are establishment of a factory for purpose-built vehicles (PBV), setting up of a mixed production system for internal combustion engine-powered vehicles and EVs and expansion of EV production lines at its existing factories.

For producing PBVs, Kia will establish a manufacturing facility at its AutoLand plant in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province. The company will begin construction of the facility in the first half of 2023 and start mass production in the second half of 2025.

At the time of mass production, the plant will have an annual production capacity of 100,000 PBVs and the figure could be expand to 150,000 a year depending on future market conditions.

As the first of its PBV models, Kia unveiled the electric taxi Niro Plus last month. The EV will be also used for car hailing services in overseas markets.

"The new plant will be a big axis of Kia's Plan S, which challenges the global PBV market," Kia CEO Song Ho-sung said. "In the short term, Kia will pioneer new markets with PBVs and increase the supply of PBVs gradually with its autonomous driving technologies in the global market in the medium to long term."

EV6 electric vehicles are assembled at Kia's AutoLand plant in Hwaseong in this photo provided by the company, Wednesday. Courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group
EV6 electric vehicles are assembled at Kia's AutoLand plant in Hwaseong in this photo provided by the company, Wednesday. Courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group

In line with the automotive group's investment scheme, the government also promised to provide full support to help the country lead the future car industry.

"It is meaningful that Hyundai Motor and Kia have decided to make large-scale investments in Korea despite facing uncertainties from both at home and abroad," Jang Young-jin, first vice minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, said during a visit to Kia's AutoLand plant in Hwaseong, Wednesday.

"The government will pursue a growth-oriented industrial strategy that supports private investment through various support measures and regulatory innovation."

The vice minister also asked the automotive group to "spur its innovation efforts as the mobility revolution is in full swing with the industry converging with services such as infotainment and robot taxis."


Baek Byung-yeul baekby@koreatimes.co.kr


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