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Automakers showcase electric vehicles at Seoul Motor Show

GOYANG, South Korea, Nov. 25 (Yonhap) — Automakers showcased a suite of electric vehicles at a Seoul auto show on Friday as they shift from internal combustion engine vehicles to zero-emission vehicles as part of a global campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Hyundai Motor Group and German automakers stole the show with their upcoming all-electric models at the Seoul Mobility Show 2021, which runs until December 5.

Kia Corp., a small subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co., launched the all-new Niro EV, while Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz focused on their promises to phase out sales of new gasoline and diesel vehicles in South Korea and other countries. leading markets.

In the new Niro, “Kia’s signature Tiger Nose has been completely redesigned extending from the hood to the fender. This contrasts with the large lower air intake grille,” said the vice-president. President Karim Habib, in charge of Kia’s global design. center, said at a press briefing.

Kia announced that it will launch the Niro EV in the domestic market in the first half of 2022. It also introduced the all-electric EV6 sedan integrated into Hyundai Motor Group’s global electric-only EV (E-GMP) modular platform. .

The maker of the K5 sedan and Sorento SUV plans to bolster its electric vehicle lineup with 11 models, including seven based on E-GMP, by 2025.

It aims to only sell electric vehicles in Europe from 2035 and in other major markets from 2040.

German automakers have been aggressive in promoting their battery models at the annual car show held in two years due to the prolonged COVID pandemic and amid a global shortage of chips.

The electric vehicle battery market is booming as automakers around the world race to go electric and eco-friendly due to tougher regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, which according to the scientists are responsible for global warming.

Audi has offered the e-tron GT, the RS e-tron GT which will be launched in Korea next month and the Q4 e-tron SUV which will be available next year, as it plans to fill 35% of its Korean portfolio with zero emissions. models by 2030.

BMW introduced the all-electric iX flagship and iX3 midsize SUVs as well as the i4 Gran Coupe and i4 M50 performance models.

This week, BMW added the iX and iX3 SUVs to its existing electric vehicle lineup consisting of the purely electric i3 subcompact car and the i8 plug-in hybrid sedan. It plans to launch the 4-door i4 Gran Coupé and the i4 M50 in the first quarter of 2022. The i4 M50 will be the first purely electric model in the high-performance M range.

Mercedes-Benz introduced the new EQS, the first all-electric sedan built on its dedicated electric modular architecture.

Other models on display include the new EQS 450+ AMG range which will hit the Korean market this year and the high-performance AMG EQS 53 4MATIC+ which will be launched next year.

“We do this with the fundamental belief that the future is electric, and that is why we have boldly redefined our strategy from electric-first to electric-only,” said President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Korea, Thomas Klein, in a statement. press conference.

It is clear that these cars will be electric and sustainable in all relevant dimensions and across all segments and sub-brands, he said.

Instead of new models, Hyundai Motor has announced plans to test Level 4 autonomous driving technologies on the IONIQ 5 all-electric car in downtown Seoul in the first half of next year.

The company has announced that it will present a detailed operating plan for the Level 4 IONIQ 5 models under the “RoboRide” mobility service next year.

There are five levels of driving automation defined by the US Society of Automotive Engineers International.

A Level 3 car allows lane changes and other autonomous driving functions to work without driver input.

At level 4, a vehicle can drive itself under limited conditions and will not operate unless all of the required conditions are met. At Level 5, a vehicle’s automated driving features can drive in all conditions.

Hyundai Mobis Co., an auto parts subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Group, showcased Level 4 self-driving automation technology in its M.VISION Concept at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, the world’s largest technology-focused conference general public, in Las Vegas in 2019. .

Another German brand, Porsche, presented three pure electric vehicles: the Taycan Turbo S sports car, the Taycan 4 Cross Turismo crossover utility vehicle and the 99X electric racing car.

Italian automaker Maserati did not display any purely electric models at the Seoul show. Currently, Maserati doesn’t have an all-electric model in its lineup, and Porsche sells the Taycan pure electric sports car.

Japanese automakers and three other local automakers – GM Korea Co., Renault Samsung Motors Corp. and SsangYong Motor Co. – did not attend the show this year.

The Seoul Motor Show did not take place last year due to fears over the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

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