Hyundai and Kia plan huge investments in domestic EV capacity
The two largest automakers in Korea aim to increase their combined manufacturing capacity at domestic plants to 1.44 million units by 2030. It currently stands at 350,000.
This means around 45 percent of all Hyundai and Kia EVs will be made in Korea by that time.
The latest investment plan is “to advance the local EV ecosystem,” and “to strengthen its role as a hub that leads the innovation of the global auto industry,” the two companies said Wednesday.
No breakdown on the investment has been provided, though Kia said some of the funding will go into building a purpose-built vehicle (PBV)-dedicated factory in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi, where the automaker already has a plant.
The PBV plant will be built on an approximately 20,000-pyeong (66,120-square-meter) site in Hwaseong, with the goal of breaking ground in the first half of next year. The exact amount of investment in the factory has not been disclosed, but Kia said it will spend hundreds of billions of won on it.
The PBV plant will start mass production in the second half of 2025, with an annual capacity of 100,000 units. Kia aims to expand that to 150,000.
Kia recently introduced the Niro Plus, the automaker's first PBV designed specifically for taxi and ride-hailing services. Kia said it plans to dominate the PBV market by 2030, selling one million PBVs per year.
The country’s two largest automakers also said some funding will be used in strengthening EV infrastructure, such as charging stations across the country.
They signed an agreement with Lotte Corporation and KB Asset Management in April to form a joint venture under the tentative name of Ultra Fast Charger. The joint venture will work together to develop an EV charger with 200-kilowatt ultra-fast charging capabilities and install a total of 5,000 by end of 2025.
Charging stations will be built at Lotte malls and stores and Hyundai and Kia customer service centers, but other companies will be able to rent charging facilities and install them wherever they want.
The investment will also be used in developing core EV-related technologies. These include the advancement of EV battery quality and the increasing of the driving range that vehicles can run on a single charge, Hyundai said.
Hyundai and Kia aim to sell a total of 3.23 million EVs globally in 2030, gaining a combined market share of 12 percent.
Hyundai Motor plans to introduce 18 EV models through 2030 including those from its luxury Genesis brand. Ioniq 6 is expected to be released this year, with Ioniq 7 next year.
Kia will release a total of 13 EV models during the same period.
Hyundai Motor and Kia sold a total of 252,719 units in 2021, giving them 6 percent of the global EV market.
BY SARAH CHEA [email@example.com]