Hyundai and Kia plan to launch seven new electrified vehicles by 2017.
Hyundai will have a total of five electrified vehicles in its lineup by model year 2018: Sonata hybrid, Sonata plug-in hybrid, a dedicated hybrid, a dedicated electric vehicle and the Tucson Hydrogen Fuel Cell.
Meanwhile, sibling brand Kia will have four electrified vehicles in its lineup by model year 2018: Kia Optima hybrid, Kia Optima plug-in hybrid, Kia Soul EV and a dedicated Kia hybrid.
Between model year 2016 and 2018, a total of four hybrids, two plug-in hybrids and an electric car will launch in the U.S. from the two Korean brands with the first dedicated hybrid debuting as a 2017 model.
The dedicated hybrid models are expected to be built on a modified version of the companies’ compact-car platform that will underpin the next-generation Elantra and Forte models. Powering those hybrids will be a direct-injected 1.6-liter gasoline engine paired to an electric motor. As the spy photos have shown, the Hyundai and Kia models will be quite different in design with the Kia model sporting a hatchback shape heavily inspired by crossover design. Hyundai’s dedicated hybrid appears to look more like a liftback sedan, similar to the Chevrolet Volt.
On the EV front, Hyundai will use the same hybrid platform for a dedicated EV, while Kia has no plans of expanding its electric vehicle offerings beyond the current Kia Soul EV.