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Hyundai to launch new EV on dedicated platform in 2020

Hyundai aims to become a "top three" electric-car manufacturer by 2025.

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric
Unlike the Kona, the new model would be built on a "dedicated" platform.

Hyundai announced Wednesday it will launch a new electric car on a dedicated EV platform in 2020. Though the company already sells electric and plug-in cars, like the Kona Electric and Ioniq, they share their basic chassis with gasoline-powered derivatives, so building an all-EV model on its own platform would mark a big step forward.

Like most of its rival automakers, Hyundai is investing heavily in electrifying its future models. The company plans to introduce 44 electrified models by 2025, with sales of those cars projected to total 1.67 million annually. By that year, Hyundai says it plans to be "one of the world's top three EV manufacturers."

Although there are no specifics on the new EV, Hyundai said in 2016 that it was aiming for electric cars with 250 miles of range by 2020. Of course, the Hyundai Kona Electric already has an EPA range rating of 258 miles.

Hyundai Motor Company confirmed the plans for the EV as part of an announcement that it will invest 45.3 trillion won (roughly $40 billion) in research and development over the next five years. Of that total, 3.3 trillion won (roughly $2.95 billion) will be dedicated to vehicle electrification and 2.5 trillion won ($2.2 billion) will be devoted to autonomous vehicles and connected-car technology. The bold five-year plan will also see Hyundai aiming to boost its automotive operating profit to 7 percent by 2022, up from 2.1 percent last year.

As for autonomy, Hyundai plans to launch an "autonomous robot taxi" fleet in South Korea on a trial basis by 2021. The company already demonstrated self-driving vehicles during the Olympics and said at the time it would have Level 4 autonomous vehicles ready by 2021 and would commercialize "fully autonomous driving by 2030." Hyundai also plans to continue partnering with other companies that have "state-of-the-art competitiveness" in the autonomous and connected-car space.