Asian automakers seek to electrify in North America
Despite the challenges seen in the transition to electric vehicles (EV) in North America, there is a growing trend of OEMs electrifying their portfolios in the region and Asia-based automakers have also jumped on the bandwagon.
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Hyundai Motor Group
The South Korean automaker is planning to invest $10 billion in the United States by 2025 in sustainable and smart mobility solutions.
Besides working towards innovative technologies such as robotics, advanced air mobility, autonomous driving, and AI solutions, the company is highly focused on reaching carbon neutrality goals by making the transition to EVs.
A large part of its electrification plan involves building its first dedicated full EV and battery manufacturing facility in the US with an investment of $5.54bn.
Located in Bryan county near the I-95 and I-16 highways as well as the Port of Savannah, construction is expected to start in 2023 and commercial production is scheduled to kick off in the first semester of 2025. Its annual production capacity is seen at 300,000 units.
“We decided to build our first dedicated EV plant in the US because America embraces change and drives innovation…It will help us meet the growing demands of our US customers who want leading edge design, safe, zero-emissions vehicles now and in the future,” says the company’s President and CEO Jaehoon Chang.
As part of Hyundai's commitment to sustainability, the plant will mainly rely on renewable energy sources to power the facility and use emission-reduction technologies to meet the RE100 requirements.
2022 Hyundai Kona electric already on North American roads (courtesy of Hyundai)
Honda Motor Company
As part of the Japanese automakers global plan to invest some $38.5bn in electrification and software by 2031, the automaker is planning an EV production line in North America, according to the company’s senior managing executive officer Sinji Aoyama.
Through its alliance with General Motors, it is planning to update dealership facilities with EV charging infrastructure and sees affordable EVs in North America by 2027, boasting price worthy and range efficient models to go head-to-head with gasoline-powered vehicles by that year.
Among the first coming to the market is the 2024 Prologue electric SUV. Honda intends to be selling 500,000 EVs in North America by 2030.
2024 Honda Prologue coming soon (courtesy of Honda)
Following Toyota’s immense popularity of hybrid models such as the compact sedan Prius and compact SUV RAV4, the automaker - besides building a battery gigafactory in North Carolina - is launching its 2023 fully electric bZ4X. Arriving in US dealerships in mid-2022, the all-new crossover SUV will be competing with Hyundai’s Kona Electric as well as the Chevy Bolt and Ford Mustang Mach-E.
Meanwhile, following in the popularity of the trendsetting full-electric Leaf compact sedan, Nissan has been receiving many orders for its 2023 Ariya all-electric SUV. The company, however, has had to stop orders owing to global supply chain problems and other related issues which have been impacting several manufacturers around the world.
With that said, keep your eyes open for the all-electric models coming to the North American market, not only from Asia but manufacturers from the US and Europe as well.