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When it comes to green cars, Hyundai thinks the more, the merrier

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With hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery-electric, and hydrogen fuel cell cars already in its lineup, Hyundai has the eco-friendly bases covered. Now the Korean automaker is planning to expand its lineup of green cars. Hyundai is aiming to have 13 new or updated models with hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or electric powertrains in its lineup by 2022. That includes six conventional cars and seven SUVs.

Not all of these models will be completely new, however. The total includes the updated 2020 Hyundai Ioniq, which will debut at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show. The 2020 Ioniq is expected to be a refresh of the current model, rather than a redesign. Hyundai will continue to offer the Ioniq with hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric powertrains — accounting for three of the 13 slots. Details on the 2020 Ioniq are scarce, but the all-electric version will get a boost to 170 miles of range, according to Green Car Reports.

The 13-model total also includes a hybrid version of the redesigned 2020 Hyundai Sonata sedan. Hyundai already offers a hybrid powertrain in the current-generation Sonata, so the new hybrid is just replacing an existing model. Conventional gasoline versions of the 2020 Sonata are expected to go on sale before the end of the year, but Hyundai hasn’t released a launch date for the hybrid. Also unclear is whether Hyundai will launch a new Sonata plug-in hybrid to replace the current model.

The remaining nine new models will be revealed over the next three years, a Hyundai press release said. In addition to the electrified Ioniq and Sonata models, Hyundai currently has a battery-electric version of the Kona crossover in its lineup. It has among the highest ranges of any mainstream electric car, at 258 miles. But Hyundai has been slow to ramp up sales. The model was initially available only in California before gradually expanding to a handful of other electric-car-friendly states.

Hyundai did not mention any specific plans for new hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The Hyundai Nexo is one of just three fuel cell cars sold in the United States. It’s a relatively fresh design, so a new version isn’t expected anytime soon. Sales are currently limited to California because no other state has a sufficient number of hydrogen stations. That makes the launch of a second Hyundai fuel cell vehicle unlikely, for now.

However, Hyundai has expressed interest in selling fuel cell commercial trucks in the U.S. It recently unveiled a sleek concept truck, and is building a fleet of trucks for operation in Switzerland. Fuel cells may be a better fit for commercial trucks because these vehicles tend to operate out of designated terminals, lessening the need for a vast network of fueling stations.

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Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
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