Report: Hyundai may be shutting down engine development to focus on electric


The combustion engine’s future has been in question for many years, and with the rise and improvements in electric engines, Hyundai may be shifting its focus exclusively on electricity. Electrek reports (via Korea Economic Daily) that Hyundai’s new R&D chief Park Chung-kook confirmed in an email to employees that they are shutting down new engine development.

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Hyundai had as many as 12,000 employees actively working on combustion engine development, but they are now being transferred to the electric vehicle division.

“Now, it is inevitable to convert into electrification. Our own engine development is a great achievement, but we must change the system to create future innovation based on the great asset from the past.”

“Researchers at the engine design unit have moved to the electrification design center, leaving only some to modify existing engines. The powertrain system development center is transforming into an electrification test center, while the powertrain performance development center is becoming an electrification performance development center.”

“The immediate task is to develop innovative vehicles that can dominate the future market. This reorganization will be an important starting point for change ahead in the new year.”

Hyundai R&D chief Park Chung-kook
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Hyundai Ioniq 5

The company is also working on hydrogen fuel cells and may be working on other alternatives for the combustion engine. For now, it seems the company is betting that electric vehicles will come much sooner rather than later and will sink its efforts into what they think will give them better future returns.

The automaker is still heavily invested in hydrogen fuel cells, but it is beginning to get some success with battery-electric vehicles with the launch of the Ioniq 5.

A full lineup of Ioniq battery-electric vehicles is expected to follow as the automaker is increasingly investing in the technology, which most industry watchers agree will power the entire automotive space before long.


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