Hyundai Confirms New EV Platform Can Be Used for Electric Pickup Truck
The Korean automaker is rolling out a second-generation platform for its EVs, and its CEO confirmed today an electric pickup is on the table.
Korean automaker Hyundai and its sister company Kia are plunging ahead on their electric vehicle development plans with the goal of selling two million EVs per year by 2030—and increasingly, it sounds like they'll be tapping into America's most popular segment to get there. At an investor conference in Seoul today, Hyundai Motor Company CEO Jaehoon Chang confirmed the company's new modular EV platform can be adapted for use in an electric pickup truck.
That new platform—known as Integrated Modular Architecture—will soon replace Hyundai's existing E-GMP platform that its current crop of EVs are utilizing and make its way to 13 new models across the Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis brands. One of the key goals for the platform is to standardize more components to cut down on production costs and ideally make room for cheaper electric vehicles. And buried in the news about R&D and production investments from the conference, Hyundai says the IMA platform will "encompass nearly all vehicle classes, ranging from small and large SUVs to pickup trucks, along with the flagship models of the Genesis brand." (Emphasis ours.)
Recently, the automaker has been laying hints everywhere that electric pickups are on the way, although models haven't been formally announced nor formally earmarked for the North American market. That being said, the United States is the largest market for pickup trucks in the world, and Hyundai has said electric pickups are coming.
Hyundai has already seen success with its small Santa Cruz pickup, a unibody sports utility vehicle with a short bed. It's based on the Tucson crossover and is only available with gasoline engines. These new pickups from Hyundai and Kia won't be like that.
News out of Australia in May held that dealers were told about a body-on-frame pickup from Kia with both gas and electric powertrains that's intended for their market. It's plausible that truck is specific to Asia and Oceania, and not destined for sale in the United States.
In any case, more news of these trucks is likely as Hyundai pursues its aggressive electrification strategy. So far, the only automakers to sell electric pickups are American. Whether or not the Korean automaker will be able to compete for mindshare in a segment it's never played in here, even if it's not producing a full-size behemoth, is yet to be seen. But given the blocky design language that'll soon be making its way to Hyundai SUVs, we think the company is clearly spooling up for an entry here.
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