Having the full spectrum of electrified products might help bridge the gap between gasoline and electric, but there are other factors in play.
“At this point, making sure you have hybrid and plug-in hybrids across a broader portion of the portfolio and making it more prominent is partially about emissions regulations,” said Stephanie Brinley, principal analyst for IHS Markit.
New EPA rules that take effect in September require a 28.3 percent reduction in vehicle emissions by 2026.
Saying customers will move more easily into EVs if they’ve tried electrification “feels like a theory in some respects, but it can’t hurt,” Brinley said.
“People who have chosen to do hybrids, plug-in hybrids or mild hybrids are obviously more interested in electrification or more willing to consider it,” Brinley said.
“Plug-in hybrids have a better potential for getting a customer used to the plug and understanding what the capabilities are. With hybrids, [customers] don’t have to do anything different and use same infrastructure.”
Hyundai’s “green” vehicles now represent 15 percent of Hyundai’s business, an increase of 5 percentage points over a year earlier, according to Muñoz.
By year end, Hyundai expects to have 10 electrified vehicles. One is the hybrid version of the Santa Fe midsize crossover, the first electrified Hyundai vehicle to be built in the U.S. at its factory in Montgomery, Ala. The Santa Fe has gotten a PHEV, and the Tucson compact crossover mirrors that format.