According to a report in the Korea Economic Daily, Hyundai’s new R&D director Park Jung-kook confirmed in an email to employees that they are shutting down the development of new engines.
The e-mail read: “Now, the electric transformation is inevitable. The research and development of the internal combustion engine is a great achievement for us, but we must make changes and create great innovations on the basis of the glory of the past.”
It is understood that Hyundai Motor has 12,000 employees engaged in engine research and development, but they are now shifting their energy to the development of electric vehicle powertrains. In addition, Hyundai has begun to adjust the interior of its buildings to meet the needs of future production of electric vehicles.
Park Jung-kook added: “Researchers in the engine design department have moved to the electrification design center, and only a few people are left to be responsible for the existing engine transformation. The powertrain system development center is transforming into an electrification test center, and the powertrain performance development center is Transition to an electrified performance development center”.
“The top priority is to develop innovative cars that can dominate the future market. This reorganization will become an important starting point for future changes in the new year.”
Hyundai’s electric transformation is not fast. The automaker is still investing heavily in hydrogen fuel cells, but with the launch of the Ioniq 5 electric vehicle, Hyundai has begun to actively seek progress in this area.
The external pressure is obviously one of the important reasons. Most countries and regions plan to ban the sales of internal combustion engine vehicles in the 2030s. Hyundai Motor’s headquarters in South Korea has also developed a climate plan that will ban the sale of pure combustion cars by 2030 and ban the sale of all cars with ICE devices by 2035.
At present, Hyundai Motor has begun to phase out diesel vehicles. It doesn’t make much sense to design a new internal combustion engine assembly that is new but has a short lifespan on the market. At the same time, considering that government subsidies for electric vehicles (whether in research and development or sales) will be gradually reduced over time, Hyundai Motor obviously needs to race against time as much as possible to expand its electric vehicle lineup.