Hyundai to close combustion engine development center


The electric push is on as manufacturers rush to position themselves for an EV future. Many companies have made verbal commitments to go all-electric, but Hyundai could take a bold step by stopping the development of future internal combustion engines now.

This is the word in a report of Korea Business. In an article published just before Christmas, the report claims that Hyundai Motor Group has officially cut its engine development department at the company’s Namyang research institute, south of Seoul. The report also states that the automaker’s powertrain has been reorganized into an electrification development team and a battery development group has been established.

There has been no official announcement from Hyundai regarding these claims. We have contacted Hyundai representatives to confirm the information and offer clarification if this is true. We will definitely update this article if new information becomes available.

The report coincides with a significant reshuffle in top management and a reshuffle at Hyundai. Albert Biermann has announced his retirement as R&D director of the company, and design director Peter Schreyer is also about to take on a new role. The automaker has also announced more than 200 executive promotions, including more than a third in the R&D division.

“Many of these new appointments represent the next generation of leaders and have been recognized for their achievements and role in the continued success of the Group,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

While the future of the automobile certainly looks electric, there remains a question of middle ground as the charging infrastructure and vehicle charging times continue to improve. Hybrids are widely seen as a solution, although the move away from combustion engine development means Hyundai is ready to build on its current engine lineup to complement its electric vehicle offerings. Hyundai has also been a strong supporter of hydrogen fuel cell technology, and it’s likely we’ll see more of it instead of the development of combustion engines.

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