After Tesla's Model 3, Hyundai Motors to launch more electric cars

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He was speaking at an event in Seoul to unveil the carmaker's as-yet unnamed next-generation fuel-cell SUV, which the company plans to roll out next year.

Hyundai has revealed sweeping plans to introduce a new range of electric vehicles including a dedicated battery-powered platform to take on the likes of Tesla.

"Hyundai Motor plans to take a multi-pronged approach to its eco-vehicle program", the statement says.

Toyota is now also working on longer distance, fast-charging electric vehicles, local media have reported.

Starting as soon as next year, Hyundai will add an electric version of the upcoming Kona small SUV to line up next to the existing Ioniq EV hatch, and by 2021 will introduce a battery-powered prestige vehicle for its Genesis luxury brand followed by a new electric-only model with at least 500 kilometres of driving range after that. Before the summer of next year, it plans to release a small electric sports utility vehicle with a driving range of 390 kilometers per charge. "We're strengthening our eco-friendly auto strategy, centering on electric vehicles", Executive Vice President Lee Kwang-guk told a news conference, calling the technology mainstream and realistic.

Finally, Hyundai also revealed they will be extending their new hybrid technology to SUVs and larger vehicles, and are plotting new 4WD and front engine-rear drive cars.

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"Hyundai aims to take the lead in the eco-friendly vehicle markets with the launch of the new fuel-cell electric auto".

Fuel cell vehicles operate by using a fuel cell (which use oxygen and compressed hydrogen) to power an electric motor.

This time round, it looks like the new FECV is a standalone SUV/Crossover design with a hint or three of the new Kona in its design (and clearly inspired by the Hyundai FE FCEV concept at Geneva this year), promising improved performance and improved range from Hyundai's fourth generation fuel stack.

The two carmakers have suffered sharp sales declines in China amid diplomatic rows between the two countries over the deployment of an advanced USA missile defense system in South Korea.

"Hyundai will achieve economies of scale for fuel cell cars by 2035 at the earliest", said Lee Hang-koo, a senior research fellow at Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade.

Hyundai Motor, the world's first automaker to have introduced a mass production line for hydrogen fuel cell cars, has supplied fuel cell vehicles since 2013, and now sells them in 18 countries around the world.

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