Hyundai Motor has unveiled the first image of a car it plans to make available to customers in Europe soon, just after the South Korean carmaker, an early backer and developer of the hydrogen fuel cell technology, increased its electric vehicle (EV) offering.

Neither ICE nor EV nor hydrogen, the car will be the most eco-friendly car on the planet. It won’t have EV battery metals to mine, or EV battery recycling issues to contend with, and it won’t slurp up fossil fuels. But there’s a catch. It doesn’t have an engine at all.

It is thereforeunlikely to compete with any EV or ICE vehicle in the car market.

Hyundai is talking about its soapbox car.

As Hyundai Motor says, the “term ‘soapbox’ refers to a motorless, gravity-propelled vehicle that was traditionally raced by children on a downhill road.”

The Hyundai Soapbox features a wedge-shaped silhouette, angular body lines, and a low wheelbase for a dynamic look shared with the 45 concept car.

Hyundai will soon reveal more details, including how it plans to make a design inspired by the traditional soapbox accessible for customers in Europe, the company said. 

Earlier this month, Hyundai launched its new brand dedicated to battery electric vehicles, IONIQ.

“The launch of the IONIQ brand dedicated to EV models reinforces the company’s commitment to clean mobility and reflects its ongoing transformation as a Smart Mobility Solution Provider with zero-emissions solutions,” Hyundai said in a statement in early August.

The South Korean maker, which is one of the automakers developing hydrogen fuel cell systems, has said it targets to sell 1 million battery EVs by 2025, taking a 10-percent market share and becoming a leader in the EV market within five years. 

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Hyundai Motor Company aims to become the world’s third-largest automaker of eco-friendly vehicles by 2025, with 560,000 BEV sales in addition to FCEV sales.

Hyundai and Kia combined held a larger share of the EV market in Q1 2020 than they did on the internal combustion engine market, BusinessKorea reported earlier this year, citing data from global automotive market research firm MarkLines. Hyundai and Kia’s EV market share was 9.9 percent in Q1, while their combined market share on the ICE market stood at 8.9 percent.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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