Following reports from both The Korea Economic Daily and Business Korea newspapers regarding Hyundai’s plans to cease production of Internal Combustion engines, reputable motoring news source Motor1.com contacted Hyundai in an attempt to confirm or deny the speculations made by South Korean media. In an official e-mail response, Hyundai Motor America’s Senior Group Manager, Michael Stewart said, “Hyundai Motor Group can confirm that it is not halting the development of its engines following recent media speculation. The Group is dedicated to providing a strong portfolio of powertrains to global customers, which includes a combination of highly efficient engines and zero emissions electric motors.”
And so, straight from the proverbial horse’s mouth, petrol burning Hyundai’s are still to be around for a while. Granted that the EU’s proposal to ban petrol and diesel powered vehicles is favourably voted, Europe will likely be the first region in the world to action a ban like this. With something like this on the horizon, then, as well as Hyundai’s official announcement last September about becoming a purely electric as soon as 2035 in Europe, the reports last week came as no surprise, if a little sooner than expected.
And of course, Hyundai’s current crop of engines, as advanced as they are, will not meet Euro 7 regulations which are set to come into effect in the latter half of this decade, which means that for the foreseeable future, they will indeed have to continue developing internal combustion engines.
In a separate report published just last week by The Chosun Ilbo, claims were made that Hyundai has stopped development of their next-generation fuel cell technology. Bold claims when one considers the role that fuel-cell technology is set to play on the automotive landscape in the coming two decades or so. In a statement released by a Hyundai spokesperson to Maeil Business, South Korea’s main business newspaper, it was noted, “The automaker denies the speculation, claiming its roadmap on next-generation fuel cell development and electrification of Genesis fleet remains intact.”
And so, in a time where so much is changing so rapidly in the automotive sphere and manufacturers are racing to be the first to develop certain technologies while partnering up where they can for the greater good, there is bound to be rumourmongering. Different markets have different powertrain requirements and Hyundai are aware of that, and so they will not just axe ICE at the drop of a penny.
The takeaway here is that the days for ICE are numbered, yes, but they are most certainly going to be around for a while still.