Hyundai Motor Group, which is composed of Hyundai itself and Kia, has reportedly shut down its Engine Development Center, further putting the future of the internal combustion engine to an end.
This move was first reported by BusinessKorea, which says that the company’s Powertrain Team has been transformed into the Electrification Development Team. From this point forward, both Hyundai and Kia will only release new vehicles that come with varying degrees of electrification, from mild-hybrid, traditional hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and full electric vehicles.
Hyundai Motor Group has also reportedly established a new Battery Development Center as a way to enhance its EV strategy. In addition, the group has also reportedly torn down its walls among various R&D departments. By unifying its Project Management Team and the Integrated Product Development Team, the group expects EV development to be shortened.
This move is unlike what most other automakers are doing, wherein their electric vehicle development is either outsourced or under a joint-venture program. The most recent example of this would be Toyota and Subaru with their bZ4X and Solterra electric crossover twins. Hyundai Motor Group’s latest strategies involve developing everything in-house, which is a more costly option, but one that’s better for the brand in the long term.
The South Korean automaker has not yet made any formal announcements, but the move is hardly surprising. Earlier this year, Reuters reported that Hyundai will be cutting its lineup of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by half and focusing its development on EVs and also on hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) moving forward.