Hyundai has announced a massive investment America totaling $7.4 billion to be spent over the next five years. The plan touches on several key technologies, including electric vehicles, hydrogen power, and even advanced robotics.
Leading the agenda is a push for U.S.-based EV manufacturing. Hyundai plans to start churning out battery electric vehicles in 2022 from its Montgomery, Alabama-based plant. Cars will be made under both the Hyundai and Kia brands, and the factory currently produces Elantra, Sonata, Tucson and Santa Fe models.
The news coincides with the group’s recent revelation that a slew of new electric products are coming, including a Prophecy concept-based sedan and an electric variant of its Genesis GV70 luxury crossover, likely to be named the GV70e. Producing EVs in the U.S. will also give Hyundai an edge over, say GM, when it comes to the Biden administration’s plan to offer $100 billion in rebates to EVs built in America.
However, despite its aggressive EV agenda, Hyundai isn’t giving up on hydrogen just yet. The company will work with the Biden administration to expand hydrogen fueling infrastructure, adding stations, and supplying the government with Nexo fuel cell vehicles.
Hyundai also seeks to expand the use of hydrogen fuel cell commercial trucks. It plans to provide logistics between ports and warehouses using FCV trucks, in addition to collaborating with Cummins to develop and deploy hydrogen-powered fuel systems.
The third part of Hyundai’s investment will go toward advanced tech. It wants to create a urban air mobility ecosystem — essentially flying taxis — and will set up a subsidiary company based in D.C. to explore those options. Hyundai will also leverage its 80 percent stake in Boston Dynamics, creator of the robot dog, to further robotics research. And last but not least, Hyundai will continue to develop its autonomous driving technology with the goal of launching a robotaxi with Lyft by 2023.