Hyundai plans for double-digit profit margins via new EV platform, next-gen batteries

The Hyundai Motor Group revealed during its 2023 annual investor day on Tuesday that it would accelerate its transition to electric cars. With an injection of new funds dedicated to EV and battery development, Hyundai is raising its annual EV sales goal to two million by 2030, aiming for over 10% profit margins.

Including Kia and Genesis, the Hyundai Motor Group is transforming its identity in the new era of electric vehicles.

Hyundai’s first dedicated EV, the IONIQ 5 electric SUV, has been a success for the South Korean automaker so far, attracting a new premium market. Its second dedicated EV, the IONIQ 6 electric sedan, is gaining attention as one of the market’s most aerodynamic and fuel-efficient electric cars.

Kia is breaking its image of being a “cheap brand” with its first dedicated electric model, the EV6, and plans to capitalize on the momentum by releasing its first three-row electric SUV, the EV9.

Much of the brand’s success is credited to its dedicated E-GMP platform, the power behind each of the EVs listed above.

With competition in the EV market heating up, Hyundai has revealed new plans to maintain its competitiveness and drive profitability as it moves to become a sustainable mobility leader.

Hyundai’s blueprint includes a new EV platform, next-gen batteries, shifting production capacity from ICE vehicles, and new businesses to drive software innovation.

Hyundai boosts EV investment, plans new platform

Hyundai says it’s leveraging the position it has established over time “amidst a seismic change in the industry” with competition intensifying in the EV market.

To secure its position, the South Korean automaker revealed it would invest KRW 109.4 trillion ($85 billion) over the next decade, including KRW 35.9 trillion ($27.8 billion) toward EVs.

The investment will help Hyundai reach its new target of selling two million EVs annually by 2030, up from 1.87 million. Hyundai says its next-gen EV platform, production capabilities, battery development, and future businesses will be key in reaching its targets.

Hyundai president and CEO, Jae Hoon Chang, commented on the company’s new investment and strategy, saying:

The value of cultivating human-centered innovation by further developing technology inherited from the past is the distinct heritage that a company with a rich legacy can provide. As it originated from Pony, the IONIQ 5 N—a high-performance EV scheduled for unveiling in July—will embrace and carry forward the enduring heritage of Hyundai Motor Company

Chang explained how Hyundai’s new dedicated EV platform, the Integrated Modular Architecture (IMA), will replace the E-GMP in future models.

The IMA platform will power 13 new dedicated EV models from Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis brands through 2030. Hyundai expects to standardize parts between models to streamline production and reduce costs.

With the new platform and streamlined production, Hyundai is targeting over 10% profitability for its EV models in 2030.

Hyundai says the IMA vehicle development system offers a “significant advancement compared to the current system enabling maximum cost reduction through economies of scale.”

The IMA platform will offer over 80 common modules that can be utilized across several segments, allowing for greater flexibility and efficiency.

According to Hyundai, the next-gen platform will extend beyond mid-size SUVs currently offered by the E-GMP. Instead, it will support vehicles from all segments, including small and large SUVs to pickups and other flagship models from Genesis.

Battery development plans

Hyundai is investing KRW 9.5 trillion ($7.3B) over the next ten years to improve battery performance and competitiveness in the battery tech.

The company says its new EV platform will include next-gen NCM and LFP batteries to improve driving range and reduce costs. Hyundai says it has formed a dedicated organization for each function required for battery development as it aims to become a market leader.

Hyundai is collaborating with external partners to establish a secure supply chain and accelerate the development of next-gen batteries.

As for solid-state batteries, Hyundai is partnering with companies like Solid Power to secure materials and manufacturing process technologies to develop lithium metal batteries.

The move comes after Toyota also revealed it was developing a range of new EV batteries, including sold state to boost competitivness.

Hyundai says it will introduce competitive LFP batteries with increased energy density and improved low-temp efficiency for the first time around 2025.

The company also outlined plans to focus on autonomous driving, software, robotics, and advanced air mobility. 42dot, a company Hyundai acquired in August 2022, will start developing its own software platform called Tital by 2024. The idea is to launch an autonomous driving purpose-built vehicle (PBV) business after 2027 with the goal of turning a profit after 2028.

In response to a diminishing presence in China, Hyundai will halt production at another plant while expanding local production of EVs and localizing parts.

In the US, Hyundai will begin production at its first EV plant in Georgia later this year to take advantage of the tax credit provided by the Inflation Reduction Act.