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Genesis will show electric concept car in N.Y. show

Mar 26,2018
Hyundai Motor’s luxury Genesis brand is going electric.

According to sources in the auto industry on Sunday, Genesis plans to introduce a prototype of its first electric car at the New York International Auto Show, which begins Friday.

It is only a concept car, meaning commercial production is not even planned. But it is a good hint at the technologies that may show up in future Genesis lineups.

The prototype being showcased in New York is expected to be a gran turismo, or grand tourer, a high-performing luxury car capable of driving long distances at high-speeds.

Based on the prototype, Genesis is preparing to produce an electric car that runs over 500 kilometers (310 miles) per charge in 2021. According to a reliable source in the auto industry, the car will be a high-performance electric sports coupe.

Genesis has been interested in an electric car lineup as emissions regulations get tighter worldwide, according to Hyundai Motor.

Manfred Fitzgerald, who is in charge of strategies for the Genesis brand, said the brand decided to bolster its eco-friendly lineup for sustainable brand growth at the Seoul Motor Show last year. The car branding guru said Genesis will add a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle model in its commercial car lineup by 2019 and release an all-electric vehicle by 2021.

Plug-in hybrid electric cars run on standard engines and rechargeable batteries.

One of Genesis’ recent focuses has been developing a common electric car platform that can be applied to a diverse range of electric cars. Based on the common platform, Genesis plans to show off at least four eco-friendly car models by 2025 including the sports coupe, according to the source.

“Once an eco-friendly car lineup is completed, [Genesis] will be able to accelerate its entry into European and Chinese markets,” another source in the car industry said. The source said it is crucial for Genesis to capture a substantial market share in Europe and China for it to succeed as a global luxury brand.

Hyundai plans to tackle European markets with an electric version of its Kona compact sport utility vehicle and fuel-cell electric vehicle Nexo. The carmaker plans to make 60 percent of its lineup in Europe eco-friendly cars by 2021 in response to growing demand for greener cars. Its affiliate Kia Motors hinted last week it may create a separate brand devoted to electric vehicles.

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]